A review team is to examine ways of cutting the burden of red tape on Northern Ireland businesses.
It will aim to reduce the regulatory burden facing local traders, particularly small firms whose owners are forced to spend too much time complying with paperwork requirements, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said.
A panel, including retired civil service permanent secretary Alan Shannon, is expected to complete its work by the middle of next year.
Ms Foster said: “Red tape or unnecessary and burdensome administrative requirements are a real handicap for businesses.
“I am launching this review today as I want to ensure that Northern Ireland businesses can focus on selling more products, making their operations more efficient and employing more people.
“The review will provide the local business community with an excellent opportunity to have their say on the regulations that affect their everyday lives.”
The other members of the review team are: chairman of the Health and Safety Executive George Lucas, senior partner at BDO consultants Francis Martin, and chairman of the Better Regulation Executive Lord Curry of Kirkharle.
The review fulfils part of the agreement between the Northern Ireland executive and Westminster on measures to build a stronger economy.
The team conducting the review will be guided and supported by an advisory panel with business and public sector experience.
Ms Foster said: “In order to ensure the outcomes actually deliver an improvement in the regulatory environment in Northern Ireland, it is important that business bodies actively contribute.
“We need to know what areas they consider to be particularly burdensome and believe warrant consideration as part of the review.”