The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling on politicians to act fast to ensure stability for UK businesses.
The CBI, which speaks for around 190,000 businesses, said the result is a “serious moment for the UK economy”.
It has called on political parties to hastily form a “functional government” and “workable administration” to build business confidence.
The Government should focus on Brexit negotiations rather than political rhetoric, it added.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said: “The priority must be for politicians to get their house in order and form a functioning government, reassure the markets and protect our resilient economy.
“Politicians must act responsibly, putting the interests of the country first and showing the world that the UK remains a safe destination for business. It’s time to put the economy back to the top of the agenda.
“For the next government, the need and opportunity to deliver an open, competitive and fair post-Brexit economy that works for everyone across all our nations and regions has never been more important.”
Dr Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), added that businesses were “doing their best to ignore the noise of politics”.
“After two long years of elections, referenda and wider uncertainty, many businesses were doing their best to ignore the noise of politics – up until today,” he said.
“The electorate’s split decision generates further uncertainty for business communities, who are already grappling with currency fluctuations, rising costs, and the potential impacts of Brexit.
“The formation of a workable administration that can give voters and businesses confidence around economic management must be the immediate priority.”
Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, said “The majority of British business will be waiting to see whether a stable government can be formed in short order.
“If the Conservatives govern as a minority, they must recognise that they have not earned a mandate to implement their manifesto in full.
“Now is the time to move on from the rhetoric of the election campaign and focus on preparing for Brexit talks.”