The Autumn budget underlines the Conservatives’ efforts to make SMEs a core part of their strategy to boost the economy. The main takeaway from the Spring budget was outrage over national insurance rates for the self-employed. Is Philip Hammond now trying to win SMEs and startups back? And does the UK’s Autumn budget bring only good things for startups?

VAT Threshold

The VAT Threshold will remain 16.5% for businesses with incomes of over £85,000 until 2020. The UK government continues to be lenient in this regard, with the average threshold in the rest of the EU just £20,000.

Business Rates

Hammond scrapped previous plans to put up business rates by 4%. Rates will now be calculated each year from the RPI to CPI from April 2018, sooner than originally planned.

Investment Schemes

Enterprise Investment Scheme limits will double for individuals investing in knowledge-intensive companies. The 30% income tax relief and capital gains tax savings will be given to investors in EIS schemes on investments up to £2million every year. This is a drastic increase from £1million.


The government will add an extra £2.3billion of its funds to investment in research and development companies. It also upped the main tax credit for young firms operating in the space, from 11% to 12%.

Tech Nation

Tech City UK, the government body which was created to support growing UK startups, is expanding and will be called Tech Nation. Regional hubs will also be set up across the UK and another £21million will be invested in the projects over the next 4 years.

The Full Autumn Budget

To find out more about what the UK Autumn budget has to offer for SMEs and startups read the full report here.