'Red tape' relaxed for businesses

no smoking signCaroline Seidel/DPA/Press Association Images

The Government has pledged to free businesses from so-called red tape, including more flexible accounting rules to save firms millions of pounds, and exempting hundreds of live music venues from licensing laws.

Dozens of regulations will be removed or simplified, which ministers said will give businesses more freedom to grow.
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Business Minister Michael Fallon said on Monday: "From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back. We are ending over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs wanting to put on small events, scrapping pointless rules about no smoking signs and saving businesses millions per year through more proportionate accounting rules."

The measures include giving over 100,000 small businesses the flexibility to decide whether their company accounts should be audited, which the Government said would save firms up to £390 million year.

Companies will also be given greater freedom to determine the most appropriate set of accounting rules for them.

Regulatory burdens and costs will be removed from hundreds of venues including pubs and clubs, making it easier to stage live music.

Live unamplified music performed in any location and live amplified music in on-licensed premises and workplaces for audiences of up to 200 people will no longer need a specific licence between 8am and 11pm.

Legislation that dictates the precise location and design of no smoking signs in workplaces will also be removed.

"We've set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I'm determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business," Mr Fallon added.

© 2012 Press Association
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