A raft of free e-business guides have been launched – from The Stationery Office (TSO), insurers Royal & Sun Alliance and the Information Society Initiative (ISI) – all extolling the web’s virtues for SMEs.

TSO launched a Code of Best Practice for ebusiness. The aim is to ensure companies understand the potential pitfalls of trading online. It includes advice on law, data protection, copyright, contracts and security.

Royal & Sun Alliance has launched Color, an online small business advice centre offering 24 hour guidance on a range of areas for small businesses - covering topics such as law, health and safety and VAT. It will also include a buying zone, which will offer subscribers discounts on a wide range of office products. The service will be free to subscribers for the first 60 days and then cost £15 per month for five users.

The ISI, which is run by the Department of Trade and Industry, has also produced a guide for small business, ‘Linking for Success’, which advises businesses on how to manage and develop the electronic supply chain.

Jenny Searle, director of the ISI, said: “Every business is part of a supply chain, and every supply chain is different. ‘linking for success’ demonstrates the rewards that can be reaped by smaller companies using technology to meet their customer’s needs – on price, quality, flexibility and responsiveness.”

The TSO guide can be downloaded at http://www.itcompliance.com, the ISI’s ‘Linking for success’ can be requested on 0845 715 2000 and the color site is http://www.usecolor.com.