HomeBusinessBusiness Companion: a reliable voice in the misinformation age

Business Companion: a reliable voice in the misinformation age


Fake news and misleading or unreliable claims are creating serious problems for businesses. It is estimated that online misinformation costs the global economy $78 billion (£61 billion) a year. And, according to research carried out in 2022, bad or misleading advice costs small UK companies an average of £9,225 each. At a time where many small businesses are under heavy financial pressure, that’s money that could be better spent on growing a business. It could even tip the balance between a business’s success or failure.

As well as the online maze of misinformation, small businesses also face many other challenges and opportunities. The way consumers buy goods and interact with companies is changing rapidly in the digital age. How the UK does business with other parts of the world has also seen large scale structural changes. And of course, companies now need to contend with doing business in the era of net zero and climate change mitigation.

Against this ever evolving, disruptive backdrop there is a need for reliable, accurate and up-to-date guidance that can help small businesses avoid costly mistakes, stay on the right side of the law, and thrive in their chosen sector.

Business Companion is a free online resource that helps businesses do exactly that. Written by experts in consumer protection law, and backed by the Department for Business and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Business Companion is regularly updated to reflect changes in legislation, and it’s constantly expanding to cover more business types.

Over the past year as part of its ‘Business in Focus’ series, Business Companion has published guidance on topics ranging from alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to consumer vulnerability, delivery charges, net zero, domestic energy saving, holiday parks, selling online and hazardous materials. Other topics include expert advice on renewable energy and starting an online business.

Written in clear, concise English and designed for busy traders and companies in search of information that can be accessed quickly, Business Companion sets out the facts about things like contracts and cancellations, marketing claims, complaint handling, best practice and much more.

Guidance is provided in a variety of formats, including web pages, downloadable PDFs and video explainers, in addition to other handy resources like checklists and useful links for further reading. Quick guides give the top-line facts about what the law says, while in-depth guides are designed to explore topics in detail, including case studies and more technical explanations of how the legislation applies in specific circumstances.

Avoid the rumours, uncertainty and potential damage caused by unreliable information, and visit Business Companion today to find out how it can help you do better business.

All the guidance can be accessed here.

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