Business regulation


Some regulations are ineffective and unnecessary. Complying with them costs businesses time and money, and can restrict growth. Red tape can also make running charities and community groups more difficult than it needs to be.

The government wants to ensure all regulations are fair and effective. We want to strike the right balance between protecting people’s rights, health and safety and freeing them from unnecessary bureaucracy.


To ensure regulations in the UK are fair and effective, we are:

  • controlling the number of new regulations by operating a ‘one in, two out’ rule for business regulation
  • assessing the impact of each regulation
  • reviewing the effectiveness of government regulations
  • reducing regulation for small businesses
  • improving enforcement of government regulations
  • using alternatives to regulation
  • reducing the cost of EU regulation on UK business

We publish guidance for all government policymakers to help design better regulations or find other options instead of regulation.


Over the years, regulations - and the inspections and bureaucracy that go with them - have piled up. Businesses say the amount of new regulation is one of their biggest problems, preventing them from growing.

In the coalition agreement, published in 2010, we said that we would:

  • cut red tape for businesses and individuals
  • not rely on rules and regulations by themselves to get things done

Who we’re consulting with

We’re running a series of reviews called ‘Focus on enforcement’ to get businesses’ views on how we could improve the way we enforce regulations.

We’ve launched Business Focus on Enforcement, giving trade associations and business groups the chance to bid to conduct reviews.

We’re also running the Red Tape Challenge, asking businesses and the public which regulations they think could be removed or improved.