The majority of small businesses in Scotland reject independence despite believing they are lacking information on key areas of the debate, according to a new survey.
Research findings by the national business group, the Forum of Private Business, come as Alex Salmond prepares to launch the white paper on independence next week.
Seventy three percent of business owners said they would vote to remain in the UK, with 15% opting for independence.
A further 4% backed separation but not for several years.
With 300 days to go to the referendum, the research showed many firms felt they lacked basic information on the effect independence would have on a number of areas crucial to their affairs.
Businesses were unanimous that both the Scottish and Westminster governments need to be clearer on how it may potentially affect trade with the rest of the UK and Europe.
The top concern was the lack of clear information on the impact on regulation and taxation (73%), followed by transport (70%) and national resources (70%).
Nearly half of businesses (49%) saw independence as a threat to future economic growth, while only 17% saw it as a potential opportunity.
Alexander Jackman, the forum’s head of private business, said: “The research indicates that many firms have made up their minds already, despite the lack of information.”
A spokesman for Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “An independent Scotland will offer huge opportunities for businesses in all sectors, with the potential for many thousands of new jobs – and we are confident that more and more businesses are being persuaded of the benefits of independence.”