Federation of Small Businesses

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Federation of Small Businesses
National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses
Federation of Small Businesses Logo.png
The New FSB Logo as of 2016
MottoExperts in Business
Registration no.1263540
Legal statusNot for profit company
PurposeMembership body for small businesses and the self-employed
HeadquartersBlackpool, England
Membership (2016)
National Chairman
Mike Cherry
Finance Director
David Miles
Operations Director
Gillian MacEwan
Stephen Askew, Mike Cherry, Peter Davys, Alexis Lay, Terry Lockwood, Gary Lovatt, Gillian MacEwan, Martin McTague, David Miles, Ian O'Donnell, Melanie Ulyatt
Main organ
Board of Directors
SubsidiariesFSB Publications Limited, FSB Recruitment Limited, FSB Sales Limited, F.S.B. (Member Services) Limited, FSB Gold Club Limited, Keep Trade Local Ltd, Real Life Entrepreneurs Limited
Revenue (2016)
Staff (2016)
WebsiteOfficial website
Formerly called
National Federation of Self Employed

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is a UK business organisation representing small and medium-sized businesses. It was formed in 1974 as the National Federation of Self Employed (NFSE).[1] The current name for the organisation was adopted in 1991. It is registered with Companies House as The National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses Limited (company number 1263540).[2]

FSB is a member-led, not-for-profit and non-party political organisation.[3] FSB is a lobbying organisation representing small firms and the self-employed to UK, national, local and devolved government.[4] FSB offers its members a range of benefits, such as a 24-hour legal advice line and free business banking.[5]

In January 2018, FSB's Board of Directors altered the organisation's volunteer structure by switching from elected Branches & Regions to an unelected, ad-hoc approach to local lobbying & representation. This necessitated changes to FSB's National Council which now comprises 12 appointed representatives, selected from the 9 English regions and the 3 devolved countries.

In 2017 FSB had 184 branches around the UK and these were grouped into 33 regions.[6] Each branch and region has its own committee. In addition, there is a national committee which includes representatives from each regional committee.[7]

National campaigns[edit]

FSB runs a number of national campaigns on behalf of its members, to highlight the needs of Small Businesses and the Self Employed. Most recently FSB ran a ‘Wellbeing’ campaign to support the health of small business owners and their staff. The campaign was backed by MIND, Public Health England, UK Active, and Seb Coe. Historically, previous campaigns have included:

  • Keep Trade Local: FSB Launched the Keep Trade Local campaign [8] in August 2008 [9]
  • Real Life Entrepreneurs: FSB launched Real Life Entrepreneurs in October 2011 [10]
  • #ibacksmallbusiness: FSB launched #ibacksmallbusiness campaign[11] in July 2014 [12] The #ibacksmallbusiness campaign has been a success and is still an active hashtag.[13]

FSB also supports a number of other national campaigns on behalf of its members, to highlight the needs of Small Businesses and the Self Employed.


FSB's past political lobbying activities have led in its own opinion to a number of benefits for small businesses,[14] such as:

  • Repeatedly overcoming attempts to impose unreasonable National Insurance Contributions
  • The introduction of enhanced capital allowances and flexible working hours
  • The reduction or removal of Corporation Tax for small limited companies
  • VAT reform in the form of a flat rate scheme for small businesses
  • An end to automatic fines for incorrect filing of VAT returns


FSB organises events aimed at supporting FSB, its members and the small business community around the United Kingdom.[15] National events are arranged by FSB's Events Team based in the Blackpool office, with the assistance of a nationwide network of staff and volunteers.

The FSB National Conference attracts more than 1,100 attendees from all over the United Kingdom.[16] Speakers have included Prime Ministers, Leader of the Opposition, Chancellor of the Exchequer and many more.

The FSB National Conference was replaced with a Business Show in 2017.[17]

FSB is running a series of regional Awards to celebrate small businesses. These are open for nomination now, with 12 categories in each. The awards will take place in Spring 2018, building up to a national final in May 2018 as part of FSB’s Chairman’s Dinner.

FSB is represented at local events like Nottinghamshire County Fair, Lincoln Show, Love Business East Midlands, and others. FSB's Regions and Branches host regular meetings around the country. Generally Branch meetings are open to all members. FSB also runs business networking events around the UK.


FSB is a member-led federation. Membership criteria are as follows:[18]

  • Self-Employed or the owner, partner, or director of a business (or businesses) Based in the United Kingdom
  • Fewer than 250 employees.
  • Agree to the Members' Code of Conduct[19]
  • Not barred from membership

The membership was 185,000 in 2006 and >160,000 in 2016.[20][21] The membership is 200,000+ if Joint, Associate, Retired, Connect and Business Creation (pre-start-up) affiliates are included.[22][23]

Small Business Index[edit]

The FSB Small Business Index measures confidence among small firms.[24] The FSB SBI has been quoted by the Bank of England,[25] the BBC,[26] Economia,[27] and EADT.[28]


The current logo for the organisation was adopted in November 2015. The costs of this re-branding was £0.3M[29] and took well over a year to complete including a complete re-branding of the FSB Website.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History". Federation of Small Businesses. Archived from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  2. ^ FSB Annual Report 1991. FSB. 1991.
  3. ^ "About the FSB". Federation of Small Businesses.
  4. ^ "FSB Lobbying". Federation of Small Businesses.
  5. ^ "FSB Member Benefits". Federation of Small Businesses.
  6. ^ "FSB Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Federation of Small Businesses.
  7. ^ FSB MSP. FSB. 2016.
  8. ^ "FSB Keep Trade Local" (PDF). Federation of Small Businesses.
  9. ^ "FSB Keep Trade Local Launch". Federation of Small Businesses.
  10. ^ "FSB Real Life Entrepreneurs Launch". Federation of Small Businesses.
  11. ^ "FSB #ibacksmallbusiness". Federation of Small Businesses.
  12. ^ mctague56 [@mctague56] (8 July 2014). "@RobertWorcester gave FSB fascinating insight on GE 2015 predicts minority Tory Govt #ibacksmallbusiness" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Twitter #ibacksmallbusiness". Twitter.
  14. ^ "FSB Policy Issues". Federation of Small Businesses.
  15. ^ "FSB Events". Federation of Small Businesses.
  16. ^ "FSB Conference". Federation of Small Businesses.
  17. ^ "FSB Business Show". Federation of Small Businesses.
  18. ^ "Membership Requirements". Federation of Small Businesses.
  19. ^ "FSB Members Code of Conduct". Federation of Small Businesses.
  20. ^ FSB Annual Report 2006. FSB. 2006.
  21. ^ "FSB Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Federation of Small Businesses.
  22. ^ "FSB Website". Federation of Small Businesses.
  23. ^ "FSB Entrepreneurship Manifesto" (PDF). Federation of Small Businesses.
  24. ^ "FSB SBI". Federation of Small Businesses.
  25. ^ "Bank of England and the FSB SBI" (PDF). Bank of England.
  26. ^ "BBC and the FSB SBI". BBC.
  27. ^ "economia and the FSB SBI". economia.
  28. ^ "EADT and the FSB SBI". EADT.
  29. ^ "FSB Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Federation of Small Businesses.

External links[edit]