On 2 October, the Government announced an increase in the threshold for a business to qualify as a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). With effect from 3 October, a business with fewer than 500 employees can qualify for SME status, doubling the previous threshold of 250.

The turnover and gross assets limits remain unchanged, at €50 million and €43 million, respectively. Satisfying either of these is sufficient for SME status, where the employee numbers are below 500.

SME status can provide an exemption from a broad range of regulatory requirements and will apply to all new regulations under development as well as those under current and future review, including retained EU laws.

There are now plans to consult on a further increase to the threshold to 1,000 employees, once the impact of the current extension is known.