Whatever your business, the FSB will work for you.
EU and International Affairs
We lobby in Brussels and Westminster on European Union proposals that affect small businesses, as a large proportion of UK law originates in Brussels. We engage with EU policymakers to ensure proposals are small business-friendly and encourage growth, investment and employment.
Export and TradeThe issue
Encouraging more small firms to trade overseas is crucial to economic growth and there is an appetite among small businesses to discover new markets in other countries. More than one fifth of our members
Read morealready export their goods, products and services. The FSB's latest export report and 'Voice of Small Business' Index shows that there is some appetite for both new businesses to export and existing exporters to increase the value of their export, this must be built on. However, red tape, bureaucracy and fluctuating exchange rates are some of the main issues small firms face when exporting.
What we have done
We are working with UKTI and UK Export Finance to help small businesses to sell more overseas.The Open to Export portal (www.opentoexport.com) gives a valuable opportunity for businesses to access advice and support from other exporters.
We are calling for more effective and targeted promotion to small and micro firms of the support already available to them in the UK, as well as providing tailored advice and support to those businesses that want to export for the first time.The Government should match individual businesses to appropriate markets and ensure that support is focused on businesses accessing markets closer to home in Europe as well as emerging markets further afield.
Smart RegulationThe issue
Small businesses are often hampered by EU legislation. The flow of regulation on employment, environmental issues, as well as health and safety can discourage businesses from expanding. It can even contribute to their closure.
Read MoreOur Action not Words campaign highlighted the administrative burdens facing small businesses. We have long called for Europe to 'Think Small First' and consider exemptions, special measures and lighter regimes for micro businesses.
What we have done
Thanks to our lobbying, the European Commission has agreed to consider if micro businesses must comply with proposed legislation.
We want to see the needs of micro enterprises firmly embedded in EU policymaking and will continue to lobby against harmful regulation, such as the proposed Ergonomics Directive .
Single MarketThe issue
With over 500 million consumers, the European Economic Area is by far the most popular export region for UK small businesses and a key market for the 87 per cent of FSB members who export.
Read MoreHowever, there are still too many obstacles holding them back and the Single Market is far from complete. Liability, legal certainty, getting paid and reliable broadband are just some of the issues facing small, online traders. The Services Directive must be properly implemented to ensure small service providers can use their skills in every EU country without having to deal with local barriers.
What we have done
The FSB ran a successful campaign to raise the profile of the impact of the Services Directive. Our guide explains how small businesses can take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
We want to see positive EU proposals on the Common European Sales Law (CESL), harmonised consumer rights, e-commerce, data protection as well as Online and Alternative Dispute Resolution, which will all help more small businesses expand . The potential of the EU's services market must be fully exploited.