Keeping on the right side of the law and ticking all the compliance boxes is costing small firms a fortune as they seek out legal advice to ensure they are doing the right things.
One group representing small firms the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on its members to shop around for cheaper legal advice but there is a role for security and compliance experts in the channel to plug some of the gap.
The FPB has estimated that it is costing small UK firms almost £6bn a year to pay consultants that can come in and make sure they are on the right side of compliance regulations.
Those costs have been rising for most SMEs as the compliance burden deepens and it's not just a case of the money spent externally with it also costing billions of pounds in the time spent internally getting things in order.
"Small businesses face a constant struggle to control costs, particularly in the current economic climate, but are being thwarted by the mounting tide of red tape they have to negotiate every day, said Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB.
This was first published in August 2011