Consultation outcome

Small Business Commissioner role

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

We will introduce legislation to create a Small Business Commissioner through the Enterprise Bill. The Commissioner will:

  • enable small businesses to resolve disputes and avoid future issues through general advice and information
  • signpost to appropriate services eg sector ombudsmen or regulators, existing independent advice services, approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers or the Commissioner’s own complaints handling function
  • consider complaints by small business suppliers about payment issues with larger businesses that they supply

Feedback received

Detail of feedback received

We received 97 responses to the consultation. These mainly came from:

  • business representative bodies
  • businesses providing professional business services
  • businesses providing dispute resolution services

We also had a few responses from large and small businesses in the retail, construction and healthcare industries.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to

Summary

We’re asking for views on our proposals to establish a Small Business Commissioner to help small business resolve supply chain disputes with other larger businesses.

Documents

Consultation description

This discussion paper sets out the government’s current understanding of the problems that small businesses face and our thinking about possible solutions. We want to know your views, further evidence about the problems and how the proposed Commissioner can help.

The Commissioner’s services will enable smaller firms to resolve disputes with other businesses quickly and easily. This will preserve important commercial relationships without the need to go to court.

Its main functions will be:

  • providing information, general advice and signposting
  • offering mediation to resolve disputes
  • dealing with complaints