From 1 October 2012, tens of thousands of small businesses and hundreds of venues that host live music events will be freed from the burdens of unnecessary red tape.

The reforms are part of a wider strategy to cut red tape, including the Red Tape Challenge, which invited the public, business and the voluntary sector to give their views on which regulations should stay, be improved, or be scrapped altogether. Today dozens of regulations will be removed or simplified, giving businesses more freedom to grow.

Changes to regulations include:

  • Removing regulatory burdens from hundreds of venues including pubs and clubs, making it easier for them to stage live music. Live unamplified music performed in any location, and live amplified music in on-licensed premises and workplaces for audiences of up to 200 people will no longer need a specific licence between 8am and 11pm.
  • Giving over 100,000 more small businesses the flexibility to decide whether or not their company accounts should be audited, saving firms up to £390m per year.
  • Greater freedom for firms to determine the most appropriate set of accounting rules for them
  • Removing legislation that dictates the precise location and design of no smoking signs in workplaces.
  • Targeted new measures to restrict cowboy clampers saving motorists about £55 million each year in clamping charges
  • Changes to the Money Laundering Regulations to reduce the regulatory burden while strengthening the overall anti-money laundering regime, saving firms around £3 million a year.
  • Lower legal costs will help entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. A new small claims track has been introduced to the Patents County Court (PCC) to make it cheaper and easier for companies to pursue basic IP disputes.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

“From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back. We are ending over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs wanting to put on small events; scrapping pointless rules about no smoking signs, and saving businesses millions per year through more proportionate accounting rules.

“But this is just the start – we’ve set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I’m determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business.”