Access key links:

Small Firms Impact Test

The Small Firms Impact Test (SFIT) becomes a mandatory part of the Impact Assessment (IA) process when proposals impose or reduce costs on small business. The Coalition Government's commitment is to cut red tape and target inspections on high risk organisations.

The SFIT is intended to provide sufficient guidance for policymakers to confidently establish whether the costs, benefits and the impacts on small firms have been robustly identified and reflected in the choice of options, and, where SMEs are to be included within the scope of the regulations there is compelling case made for their inclusion.

Officials can contact BIS‘s Enterprise Directorate at the earliest stages of policy development if they believe that the measure being considered is likely to have a significant impact on small businesses, or if help is needed to successfully complete the SFIT. The Enterprise Directorate Outreach Team may be contacted at or by telephone on 020 7215 6032.

The following guidance document has been updated to help you undertake the Small firms Impact Test:

Small firms impact test: guidance for policy makers (DOC, 240KB)

The following documents are “at-a-glance” extracts of the above document:

The following case studies show how others have developed small business friendly policies:

Thinking small first: a perspective from BIS's company law and governance directorate (DOC, 36KB)

Food Standards Agency: food safety management system (DOC, 36KB)

The following case study shows how others have completed the new Small Business section of the Explanatory Memorandum.

Explanatory memorandum: an example based on BIS's corporate law and governance directorate's Companies Act case study (DOC, 27KB)

Additional case studies are under development and will be published here shortly. Officials wishing to share their experiences should e-mail

Further guidance can be found at


Minister responsible

Mark Prisk is the minister responsible for this policy area.