Red Tape tying down SMEs


Red Tape tying down SMEs

Antony Savvas

SMEs in the IT and communications sector are losing 12 working weeks a year to red tape, according to a report published by research firm LexisNexis.

Nationally, owner/managers have to spend 458 hours a year, more than 61 working days, dealing with administration on regulations, legislation and tax. 

A staggering 69% of owner/managers in the industry reported the Data Protection Act as a significant restriction – far more than the national average of 44% covering all industries. Also of particular concerns in IT and communications are health and safety regulations (66%) and tax legislation (69%), both cited as key challenges for small businesses in general. 

Marianne Whitfield of Gateshead-based Cobweb Information, an independent publisher of data for small businesses, said, “Hardworking small businesses can easily fall foul of the law if they do not keep track of their regulatory requirements. As employees and customers become increasingly litigious, and the government imposes more and more legislation, individual directors are becoming increasingly likely to face law suits and even prosecution for failing to comply.”

To help small businesses keep track of their regulatory requirements, LexisNexis, in partnership with Cobweb Information, has launched a new, dedicated web-based service. Red Tape Buster is an online information service that gives owner-managers easy access to legal advice and compliance checklists including downloadable forms, policies and documents.

Information about the Red Tape Buster service is available at

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