Small companies in the UK are not using the internet for business as much as the general population, according to new data.
This compares to over half of the UK population as a whole. Of those, over a third use a consumer rather than a business account.
"I was surprised by the low level of internet use," said UK Online managing director Chris Stenning.
"I was expecting the figure to be nearer 70-80 per cent. It does show that the smallest businesses have not grasped the benefits of the internet."
Of those with internet access nearly one in five is using dial-up. Just over one in five have a business email address and fewer than half have a website at all.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes that part of the problem is EU regulation, as a website that does business with citizens from member states must conform to all consumer protection laws in the union.
"Plans to reverse the way consumer law is applied to sales over the internet could make trading in the single market too expensive and risky for millions of small businesses in the UK," said Tina Sommer, FSB EU affairs chairman.
"This would also hit consumer choice and the ability of shoppers to do online research into prices to make sure they get the best deal."
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