Administering tax has become the top regulatory burden for small business owners, according to research conducted by the Forum of Private Business.
‘Tax-related regulation was deemed to be the most costly area of red tape, leaving smaller employers with a bill of £5.1 billion per year,’ the FPB said.
‘Employment law was second at £4.2 billion, followed by health and safety law at £3.8 billion. These results were quite different compared to the 2009 Cost of Compliance survey, which put employment law in first place, followed by health and safety in second and tax third.’
Forum members estimated that ‘they have missed out on business opportunities worth £29.8 billion due to the time and resources they spend on dealing with regulation’.
The total annual cost of compliance with legislation for the UK’s ‘smaller employer’ is estimated at £16.8 billion or £14,200 per firm, the FPB said.
‘While this is a rise of just 1% compared to two years ago, the increase is greater in real terms because economic activity, which drives the need for compliance, has shrunk significantly since the 2009 survey was carried out,’ said Jane Bennett, Head of Campaigns at the FPB.