Business Support

Key dates for small businesses in 2024

Updated: 11 January 2024

January is time to take stock and plan for the year ahead. For small business owners, staying one step ahead of key dates is crucial to ensure that you comply with new legislation and don’t miss out on opportunities. 

2024 will bring some big changes for small businesses. There will likely be a General Election in the UK, as well as elections in the EU, the US and India, all of which could have a big impact on trade. 

This is also the year that various new pieces of legislation come into place that will affect how your business operates going forward. 

So bookmark this blog to make sure you don’t forget these key dates for small businesses in 2024.


31 January – Deadline for Self Assessment tax return 2022-23

  • If you’re a sole trader, you have until midnight to file your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2022-23. You must also pay any tax owed by the same date.

31 January – Border Target Operating Model begins

  • The first phase of the new Border Target Operating Model is introduced with the aim of simplifying and digitising the import of animal and plant products to the UK. 

5-11 February – National Apprenticeship Week

  • A week-long celebration of apprentices and the positive impact they have on business and the economy. If you think apprentices could help your business, find out more here.  

14 February – Valentine’s Day

  • If your business sells gifts, make sure you get in the mood for love early with an eye-catching marketing campaign, and are well stocked and ready to ship.

1 March – Employee Appreciation Day

  • Take time to do something special for your employees today to show them how much you appreciate their hard work. A valued employee is a productive employee, after all.

1 March – Import Control System 2 rollout completed

  • The final phase of the EU’s new import control system, which requires pre-notification of all shipments arriving to or travelling through the EU, comes into place.

6 March – Spring Budget

  • With speculation that the General Election is likely to take place in the autumn (and January 2025 as the latest it can be), many commentators are predicting the Spring Budget is expected to include tax cuts. Watch this space.

10 March – Mother’s Day

  • A key gifting day that should be in every small business calendar (and don’t forget your own mum, too!)

29 March-1 April – Easter weekend


1 April – National Minimum Wage rates increase

  • National Minimum Wage rates increase, including the National Living Wage, which increases to £11.44 an hour (from £10.42) for people aged 21 and over. 

6 April – Start of the new tax year for 2024-25 

6 April – Flexible working legislation comes into effect

  • The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 comes into force, meaning UK employees will now have the right to request flexible working arrangements.

6 May – Early May bank holiday

27 May – Spring bank holiday

31 May – Deadline for issuing P60 forms

  • Latest date for all SMEs to issue their employees with P60s, either on paper or electronically.

14 June – Uefa Euro 2024 kicks off in Germany

  • With the tournament running until 14 July. Major tournaments always present big opportunities for small businesses, particularly in hospitality, so let’s hope Southgate’s men can go one better than last time round and lift the trophy.


6 July – P11D deadline 

  • P11D and P11D(b) forms for the tax year 2023-24 must be submitted electronically to HMRC. You must also provide your employees with a copy of any information that relates to them by the same date.

26 July – Paris Summer Olympics 2024 starts today

  • Running until 11 Aug, expect an increase in sporting participation around this time, and look for opportunities to get behind Team GB.

31 July – Deadline for second Payment on Account for the 2022-23 tax year

  • Sole traders must pay any outstanding tax by midnight.

26 August – Summer bank holiday

September – Predictable work pattern legislation comes into effect

  • The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 is expected to come into effect in September 2024. This new legislation gives workers the statutory right to request a predictable work pattern.  


1 October – Phase two of the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme comes into effect

  • All milk and dairy products moving to Northern Ireland need to be individually labelled under the second phase of the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme. All meat and dairy products in Great Britain need to be individually labelled from this date, too. 

November (date TBC) – Autumn Statement 

29 November – Black Friday

  • The busiest online shopping day of the year, followed by Cyber Monday on 2 December.

7 December – Small Business Saturday UK 

  • Encouraging everyone to shop small and support local in the run-up to Christmas, this annual celebration of small businesses is a great event to get involved in. For small business support, visit their website.

If you need finance to help your small business in 2024, you can apply for a loan or line of credit in minutes. Check if you’re eligible today.

05/01/24: While we want to help as much as we can, the information found here is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice. 

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