Standards and regulations are an integral, if easily overlooked, part of our daily life. They determine whether a plug fits into a socket, whether food is safe for human consumption or whether a bank is allowed to take deposits. They are also an indispensable part of international trade. Using new evidence from ITC databases, this report reveals how standards and regulations are holding SME competitiveness back, but crucially, what SMEs and other stakeholders can do to make standards and regulations work for, and not against, SMEs. In this report, advice targeted at SME managers is presented, as well as how Trade and Investment Support Institutions and policymakers can influence the business environment to boost competitiveness, and integration into global markets.