Entrepreneurs fear red tape will get worse

Three-quarters of Britain\'s entrepreneurs expect the regulatory environment for SMEs to become more rather than less burdensome over the next three years, according to new research by Bank of Scotland Business Banking.

The survey findings coincide with the latest figures from the bank’s Small Business Confidence Index, which reveals that confidence amongst entrepreneurs has slipped by two points during the third quarter of 2007.

Nearly six out of ten entrepreneurs believe the need to comply with regulations and legislation is preventing their business from maximising its performance.

And 67 per cent of entrepreneurs said they agreed with CBI Director General Richard Lambert’s recent complaint that “red tape and regulation only serve to dampen entrepreneurial flair”. The same amount also believes that the UK implements European rules more aggressively than it needs to.

When asked if they could scrap a single piece of ‘red tape’, more small business owners cited health and safety than any other regulation, including VAT and corporation tax.