The UK government is removing barriers and making it easier to do business

Home » The UK government is removing barriers and making it easier to do business

The UK government is committed to lightening the regulatory burden on businesses and helping to spur economic growth. Here are just some of the ways we’re doing this.

1. Tackling late payment

We know late payment of invoices and long payment terms are key issues that businesses, especially SMEs, highlight as a barrier to their growth.

If you are looking to sell goods and services to government departments, learn more about the government prompt payment policy, which includes the measures in place to tackle late and unfair payment practices from a government buyer and government supplier perspective. 

This is why the UK Government announced the Payments and Cash Flow review to look at measures to tackle late payment of invoices to support small businesses and grow the economy.

If you’re having issues with late payments as a small business, you can get guidance from the Small Business Commissioner including raising a complaint.

2. Trade with the World

We are striking new trade deals to help businesses make connections around the world. The UK government is also continuing to take action to resolve market access barriers and unlock trade opportunities abroad for UK businesses.

You can also tell us about any new trade barriers that you may be facing, or have an issue with an existing trade barrier. We might be able to resolve it,

You can also find information, advice and services to help you sell internationally.

3. Selling products and services to the public sector

Small businesses will benefit from one of the largest shake ups to procurement regulations in UK history.

This will deliver simpler, more effective public sector procurement, and help SMEs secure a greater share of approximately £300bn of expenditure per year. For an overview of the Procurement Act 2023, watch the ‘Knowledge Drops’ series.

Find out how to sell products and services to the public sector.

Sign up to Contracts Finder for free to save searches, ‘watch’ notices, and get email updates regarding upcoming contract opportunities. 

You can also find information on government’s commitment to support start-ups and small businesses via government procurement, and commit to paying them on time. 

4. Cutting Red Tape

REUL (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (the REUL Act 2023) gives the government the power to remove and reform EU laws. The government has already revoked or reformed over 2,000 pieces of REUL. A further 500 revocations and reforms of REUL are planned in 2024; and over all the Government’s roadmap will see the reform or revocation of 3, 500 pieces of EU law by June 2026. Find out more.

You can also view the schedule of retained EU Law was revoked last year.

We have made considerable progress since the REUL Bill received Royal Assent in June 2023. We have laid 26 Statutory Instruments many of these revoke redundant EU legislation or make significant legislative reforms. 

These reforms include changes to employment law to improve the lives of workers and support businesses – saving industry more than £1 billion. Employers no longer need to keep detailed records of each employee’s daily working hours and the Government is also simplifying annual leave and holiday pay calculations to reduce red tape for business.

Reducing burdens and promoting growth through smarter regulation

The UK government’s smarter regulation programme seeks to reduce burdens on businesses and promote innovation and growth.

The smarter regulation programme across government is led by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). It has 3 pillars:

  • reforming existing regulations to minimise regulatory burden and ensure our regulations are contemporary and forward looking. This includes reforms to both retained EU law (REUL) and wider domestic regulation
  • making regulation a last resort, not a first choice. This includes making use of alternatives to regulation wherever beneficial
  • ensuring a well-functioning regulatory landscape

Find out more about the smarter regulation programme.

Better regulation in the UK’s product safety

On 2 August 2023, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) launched a consultation seeking views on how the UK can better regulate in the area of product safety, considering consumers, businesses and local authorities. The consultation has ended and we are reviewing the feedback. You can see the details of the consultation.