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Regulatory Reform

The Issue

The cost of complying with regulations is expensive and burdensome for small firms. We believe cutting red tape and improving the quality of existing regulations would see a drop in the costs of complying. This would also increase productivity and innovation and boost competition. We’ve long campaigned for:

  • Risk based and proportionate regulation.
  • A system that challenges the need for any new regulations so only those that are necessary are introduced.
  • Reductions in the amount of regulation small businesses face.
  • Regulators to work with small firms to help them comply.
  • All regulations and regulatory guidelines to be made clearer and simpler.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’ve argued for policy makers to ‘Think Small First’ so any new regulations have a minimal negative impact on small firms.
  • We’ve called for greater transparency in the making of new regulations and an independent body to scrutinise the impact of regulations, while defending the needs of small businesses.

Our Ask

Simplifying regulations and reducing their burden on small businesses would free up time and money. This would help small firms to concentrate on running and growing their businesses.

We want a cultural change from policy makers and regulators so they look to support small businesses and help them comply with regulations.

Achievements in...



  • We successfully called for a delay to any new regulations for micro-businesses and an impact test on small firms.
  • Our two and half year campaign saw the Small Business Act include legislation, where evidence of the impact of any new regulation on small firms, has to be independently assessed and verified.

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  • In 2013 we successfully lobbied the Scottish Government for a more considered and business-friendly approach to regulation.

  • In direct response to our campaigning, Holyrood passed the Regulatory Reform Bill.  

  • The Bill, which includes a new economic growth duty for regulators to adhere to, will reduce inconsistencies and make local authorities regulate with small businesses in mind.

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