New data laws are set to catch out small firms, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), as 90 per cent are unprepared for the introduction of incoming rules.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May, is designed to push businesses to increase the protection of personal data.
But the FSB has found that 33 per cent of small businesses have not even started preparing, while 35 per cent are in the early stages and only eight per cent have completed their preparations. A number of firms are unaware of what they must do, other research has indicated.
“GDPR is the biggest shake-up in data protection to date and many small businesses will be concerned that the changes will be too much to handle,” said FSB chair Mike Cherry.
"It’s clear that a large part of the small business community is still unaware of the steps that they need to take to comply and may be left playing catch-up."
Small companies in the arts and entertainment and hospitality sectors are the least prepared, while financial firms are at the other end of the scale, the research found.