Small firms profit as DTI slashes red tape

Design consultancies stand to benefit from proposed changes to business regulations. The Department of Trade and Industry is planning a wholesale drive to cut red tape surrounding the current rules, to assist smaller companies.

The department will begin a systematic review of regulations falling within its jurisdiction and strive to minimise future regulations, says Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. It will also introduce expiry dates on some future regulations.

Smaller firms will benefit from a raising of the audit threshold, which dictates the level of turnover at which a business must have its accounts independently audited. The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that a £1m turnover company will save £5000 as a direct result.

“We will think small first, to ensure that, from the outset, regulations and associated guidance are developed with the needs of small businesses to the fore. The Small Business Service will have a key role to play,” says Byers.

The challenge to minimise Government bureaucracy will save British businesses tens of millions of pounds every year, according to the DTI.

“Regulations will only be introduced where absolutely necessary and where all other avenues have been pursued. Where regulation is necessary, we will ensure that it is as simple and user-friendly as possible,” says Byers.

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