The average cost of compliance to UK small businesses is £14,200, according to a new survey from the Forum of Private Business
More than eight out of 10 small business owners report spending more time on dealing with legislation than in 2009.
This is according to a survey by the Forum of Private Business
(FPB), which calculated the average cost of compliance – £14,200 per firm – through questioning of its members.
As well as the 84 percent of small businesses who spend more time on legislation now than in 2009, the survey of 4800 owner-managers also found that 67 percent spend more money on consultants to help them remain compliant and avoid pitfalls.
Jane Bennett, the FPB's head of campaigns, said: "Despite several government initiatives – some more effective than others – it is clear that we are heading in the wrong direction as far as reducing regulation for small business owners is concerned."
As well as the increased time spent on legislation, the cost of it rose by 1 percent since the 2009 study, which suggests Government measures to tackle the problem have yet to take hold.
Bennett said that the increased cost of regulation was greater in real terms because economic activity had shrunk since the 2009 survey.
Tax regulation was rated as the most costly burden on small businesses, followed by employment law and health and safety rules.
The FPB said that small firms are increasingly frustrated with the time needed to ensure compliance and the perceived lack of Government attention to the issue.