Business acronyms

Acronyms and abbreviations are often used when in Scottish businesses. Find the definition of frequently used business terms in our glossary.


It helps to know the common acronyms and abbreviations people use when they’re doing business in Scotland. Our glossary will keep you in-the-know.


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) works to promote fair business competition businesses and consumers in Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. It is part of the UK Government.


Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for collecting taxes, paying some forms of state support and administering set regulations such as the National Minimum Wage. It is part of the UK Government.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the independent regulator for work-related health, safety and illness in Scotland and the rest of the UK. It focuses on reducing work-related deaths and serious injuries.


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the professional body for chartered accountants in Scotland and the UK. It’s active in more than 100 countries around the world. The institute’s members can provide a variety of financial services to help you build a better company in Scotland.


The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) upholds good business practices in data protection across all sectors. It’s an independent body that works across the UK.


The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a tax you pay when you purchase or lease a property of a certain value in Scotland. LBTT replaced the UK Stamp Duty Tax (SDLT) in Scotland from 1 April, 2015.


A Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) is a business partnership structure where all the owners have limited personal liability for the financial obligations of the business. It has at least one ‘general partner’ and one ‘limited partner’. The partners have different responsibilities and levels of liability for any debts the business cannot pay.


National Insurance Contributions (NIC) is a tax paid by workers and employers. The tax is mainly designed to fund state benefits such as retirement pensions. As an employer, you pay employers’ NIC; you also deduct employee NIC from each employee’s salary. You then pay these contributions to the UK Government responsible for collecting taxes – HM Revenue and Customs.


Office of Communications (Ofcom) regulates television, radio and telecommunications in Scotland and the rest of the UK. It also regulates business competition in this sector.


Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is the UK system for paying income tax and national insurance contributions. As an employer, you deduct tax from your employee’s salary and pay these contributions to the UK Government responsible for collecting taxes – HM Revenue and Customs.


A Public Listed Company (PLC) is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely sold and traded to the public. However, a PLC may also be privately held – typically by another PLC.


The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) can apply to business transfers, takeovers and changes to service providers. It can influence the way business deals are structured and may have significant financial and commercial consequences.


Value Added Tax (VAT) is the sales tax businesses in Scotland and the rest of the UK must charge on the goods and services they provide. As a business in Scotland, you must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay this tax.


The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) examines, issues and rejects patents – and maintains a register of intellectual property including patents, designs and trade marks. It is the official UK Government body responsible or intellectual property rights in Scotland and the rest of the UK