Business development · 2 October 2017

Startups to benefit from changes to Primary Authority regulatory scheme

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Micro owners will be able to choose to work with one single local authority

Around 250,000 UK businesses, the vast majority of which will be small and micro firms, are expected to benefit from new changes to the government’s Primary Authority scheme.

The changes, introduced on 1 October 2017, will simplify how businesses are able to comply with regulations through the Primary Authority scheme, enabling owners to choose to work with a single local authority as opposed to several.

The changes are also expected to make it easier for local UK authorities to offer regulatory advice to any existing business, as well as anyone looking to start their own business.

The Primary Authority was launched in 2009 to make the regulatory system simpler and easier for business owners to understand and enabling better investment decisions.

The government has estimated that 16,000 businesses currently benefit from the Primary Authority and its partner organisations, with thousands more expected to benefit as a result of these latest changes.

Startups and “pre-startup” businesses will be able to access the Primary Authority scheme’s services for the first time. Growth Hubs, Better Business for All and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across Britain will be able provide tailored local advice to startups on regulatory issues.

Welcoming the new Primary Authority scheme changes, small business minister Margot James commented: “[These] changes help to bring down the barriers which hold back businesses by streamlining and clarifying regulation, giving businesses the confidence to invest, grow and hire.

“Creating the conditions where every business can thrive is at the heart of this government’s industrial strategy. We are committed to building an economy that works for all, in which consumers are properly protected, and these changes will ensure Britain remains among the best places in the world to start and grow a business.”

By 2020, it is predicted that around 250,000 more UK companies will have signed up with the Primary Authority scheme, of which more than 95 per cent are expected to be SMEs.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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