Red tape ‘stifling the spirit of enterprise’

Small firms feel administrative burden constrains growth


Entrepreneurs feel that the red tape burden they face is increasing and the demands of regulatory compliance are stifling enterprise.

Research by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) found that the regulatory burden is getting heavier and that small business owners believe the needs of regulation are hindering enterprise and growth.     

What’s more, respondents felt that a disproportionate amount of the cost of implementing new legislation was shouldered by micro businesses.   

Business taxation was a particular concern for micro businesses, with 15% believing it to be the single biggest administrative burden, whereas 26% of medium businesses cited employment regulation.   

However, micro and small businesses were still found to be the main drivers of growth in the UK, despite the regulatory burden they face.    

Clive Lewis, head of medium sector issues at the ICAEW, commented: “It is encouraging to see that companies continue to be confident in their ability to grow despite the strain of regulation.    

“Businesses look to government to encourage a better environment for enterprise and, despite an apparent slowdown in the amount of regulation, it is crucial for UK plc as a whole that reducing this enormous burden remains a top priority.    

“2007 has seen a significant increase in the attention given to the regulatory burden at European level and this is encouraging.”   

In addition, the survey revealed a significant shift in UK firms’ attitude towards globalisation, with most seeing it as an opportunity rather than a threat.    

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007 

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