10 tips for cutting government red tape

With just 60 government regulations costing UK businesses £13 billion a year to administer, it’s time to see if we can cut the cost of compliance and slash unnecessary paperwork.

1. Late payments? Sue delinquents in minutes using the Court & Tribunal Service’s online: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

2. Shares and directors. Don’t waste time filling in 363s, 288s etc. on paper. Do it online with Companies House WebFiling service: http://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk.

3. Check the regs. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Business Link as an organisation but their website is a good source of information: www.businesslink.gov.uk.

4. Self Assessment online. If you’re a director or sole trader, you probably have to do a tax self assessment each year. It’s easier online: www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/file-online.htm.

5. Employing people? Employment tribunals cost businesses an average of £8,500 whether you win or lose and the average settlement is £5,400. So prevention is much cheaper than cure. Get free employment advice from ACAS: www.acas.org.uk.

6. Data Protection. Check if you can avoid notification under the Data Protection Act: www.ico.gov.uk/notify/self/.

7. Go paperless. Check out these tips for a paperless office from my other blog: http://turbinehq.com/2011/tools-for-a-paperless-office/.

8. Upgrade to Office 2010. Microsoft’s latest applications helps you get stuff done quicker and improves team collaboration. See my Top 10 productivity tips.

9. Purge your intray, free your mind. Check out this video from David Allen (of ‘Getting Things Done’ fame) and also my advice on 10 ways to get more done.

10. Print your own stamps. Franking machines are great for big businesses but they’re expensive. Running to the Post Office for stamps is a pain. So, check out SmartStamp. Print your own stamps directly on labels and envelopes.

Matthew Stibbe is writer-in-chief at Articulate Marketing. He is also an avid blogger, closet geek and HP fanatic.