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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Are businesses in denial about GDPR fines?

2 May 2018

Are businesses in denial about GDPR fines?Most businesses don't believe they will be fined for breaching GDPR rules according to a new survey.

A study by Spiceworks has found that only 14% of UK organisations, 9% of those in the EU and 3% of US organisations believe they'll actually be fined for not complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after it is introduced on 25 May this year.

The findings also show that many businesses will miss the upcoming GDPR compliance deadline. In fact, the UK is "ahead of the game" according to the study, as 61% of UK firms expect to be compliant by May 25th, compared to 46% of businesses in the rest of the EU and only 25% in the United States.

In addition, 59% of UK organisations are training employees to be GDPR-compliant, compared to 54% in the EU and 21% in the US. UK organisations are also spending the most time on GDPR preparation - 30% of organisations in the UK expect to spend more than 120 hours on this, compared to 18% in the US.

A lack of time and resources are the main reasons that 60% of IT professionals in the UK fear missing the deadline. In contrast, 40% of IT professionals in United States say the main reason they will not meet the deadline is because it's not a priority for their organisation.

One third of IT professionals say GDPR will make their jobs more difficult and 20% say it will make it more difficult for their whole company to do business. Despite the challenges, 75% of IT professionals in the UK and 70% in the rest of the EU are in favour of GDPR.

"On paper, most IT pros support the principles of the GDPR and want to protect personal data, but in practice, many hurdles are keeping organisations from becoming compliant in a timely manner," said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. "As a result, European regulators might have their hands full, considering many organisations won't be GDPR compliant for months or years to come, and few believe they will be penalised."

Also this week, a survey by Veritas has found that 40% of UK consumers intend to exercise their data privacy rights in the next six months. The findings show that consumers are most likely to approach financial services companies (56%), social media companies (48%) and retailers (46%) to ask about the personal information that is held on them.

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