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Your business advice options

Our Trading Standards team has extensive experience of advising a variety of businesses from small family companies to international blue-chip corporations. Whether your business trades in Surrey and Buckinghamshire or beyond, we can help you maximise profits.

We know regulation can sometimes feel like a burden, so speak to our advisors who can help put compliance into context for your business, in a number of cases we have advised businesses of areas where they may stop spending money and time unnecessarily.

Consumer protection law means businesses have to meet certain standards, which include protecting your customers. Looking after your customers not only makes good business sense, but usually means that you will also be complying with the law and therefore not at risk of substantial financial penalties.

Our Trading Standards Officers can help make compliance even easier for you, by ensuring your business is fair, competitive and legal. Our services are available through two modular options, which enable you to choose the right level of support.

Please note we have introduced a new Easy 123 Primary Authority package for pre-startups and newer businesses.

To find out about charges for the following two modules, please see: fees and timescales for business advice.


Module 1 – Business advice

  • A business advice telephone and email help line.
  • Face to face meetings to talk you through consumer protection legislation, statutory defences for criminal law, etc.
  • Information on changes to legislation which might affect your business.
  • Start-up advice for new businesses.
  • Signposting to other essential sources of information.
  • Advice about printed and online marketing materials including labels to ensure you aren't misleading your customers and breaking the law.

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Module 2 – Primary Authority

If your business operates across several local authorities you can enter into a Primary Authority partnership (PA) with Surrey County Council and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards.

This bespoke partnership will help you manage relationships with local authorities across the UK, simplify regulatory processes and reduce the cost of compliance. As well as significant financial savings, a PA can also help reduce the risk to your business and ultimately ensure it is both profitable and productive.

Trading Standards can work with your business to prepare a national inspection plan. This would give guidelines to other councils regarding the way your business should be inspected, to minimise unnecessary checks.

The agreement will be registered with Primary Authority who will also specify the standards for this agreement.

As part of this service we will provide all the previously listed free support, plus the following:

  • Single point of contact for all local regulators.
  • Primary Authority advice and liaison with other authorities.
  • A national inspection plan if required.
  • Detailed analysis of statutory defences.
  • Auditing of your procedures and processes as required.
  • Site visits in and out of Surrey
  • Access to a reliable source of information.

There are many advantages of a PA, including:

  • Financial savings – the Government estimates that UK businesses could save £48 million per year through PA (source Regulatory Delivery).
  • Reduced compliance costs.
  • Reduced risk.
  • Improved standards.
  • Fewer inspections, information requests and checks on your business nationally.
  • A guaranteed level of service and support.
  • Access to other sources of helpful information.

Partnerships are specific to your business and the services you need, therefore the charges will vary. The cost will include a basic annual fee, plus hourly fees related to the cost of additional activity or officers' time.

There are four options available:

1. Easy 123

An agreement to help support local businesses and encourage new enterprises, which includes 3 hours of advice on trading standards, environmental health, and fire safety, no sign-up fee in the first year and 20% voucher for Skills for Work Consumer Rights e-learning. To qualify businesses must have one location in Buckinghamshire or Surrey and have traded for less than 2 years and have less than 3 full-time equivalent employees.

2. PAYG

An agreement established using standard contract terms and a fixed set-up fee and an annual renewal fee. The amount of hours required and specific business needs are required to be defined at the start of the contract.

3. 17 Hours

An agreement established using standard contract terms and a fixed minimum amount of hourly advice, set-up fee and an annual renewal fee. By pre-paying for 17 hours of advice you will benefit from two extra hours of free advice.

4. Bespoke

An agreement established using standard contract terms, which is fully tailored to your business needs, all set-up fees are incorporated into the cost of operating this contract. The contract will be established through face to face meetings to determine the individual requirements of the business

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Full details about our business offers are set out in our: terms and conditions for business advice.

For more information please contact our Business Advice Line on: 0300 123 2329 or email: business.advice@bucksandsurreytradingstandards.gov.uk

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