The Government has published the results from the Challenger Businesses Red Tape Challenge (formerly called Disruptive Business Models).
Over 600 comments were received through the Red Tape Challenge website and the social networking site Linked In, and the business community has been instrumental in defining the final package of proposals. Overall, this Red Tape Challenge uncovered a wide range of issues – not all purely regulatory, but relevant to the theme.
Key proposals are to:
- Create a new independent function to champion deregulation when it hinders innovative businesses. The independent Regulatory Policy Committee will be asked by Ministers to investigate where challenger businesses, seeking to enter new markets, are being unjustifiably hampered by rules, regulations and behaviours and report publically on their findings.
- Encourage a self regulating approach in the peer-to-peer finance industry by increasing membership of their finance associations and building on their consumer code of practice.
- Help knowledge-based businesses to secure finance by working with banking and accountancy experts to improve existing guidance and raise awareness of the Government schemes which can help.
- Identify ways to drive down costs in applying for and defending patents, including examining the operation of the US ‘small entity’ regime.
- Make it cheaper and simpler for SMEs to challenge potential infringements of their trade marks.
- Provide a better balance to the rights of consumers and online traders by implementing a new Consumer Rights Directive to replace the existing distance selling regulations.
- Amend the Estate Agents Act (1979) to take out of its scope intermediaries such as private sale portals, which only advertise properties and provide a means for sellers and buyers to communicate with each other.
Business raised other more general yet equally important issues on: regulatory enforcement; employment law, public procurement; and, data protection. Further information on these issues is provided in the report. We have also passed your comments to the relevant Departments and Red Tape Challenge teams who will put them to good use.
The Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon would like to thank everyone who has given their valuable time and expertise. We would also like to thank Mark Littlewood, Director-General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, who has acted as Sector Champion for this theme. Mark’s own independent report (available to download here) made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the regulatory framework and how it is implemented. He also looked at how current rules and processes may be stifling today’s challenger businesses as well as the steps which could be taken to prevent new regulations hampering the businesses of the future.
Implementation of the proposals will begin promptly and in some areas is well underway already.
The official Government report can be found here.
The full BIS press notice is available here.