BUSINESSES can spend between one and five hours a week complying with government red tape, a survey from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chamber revealed on Thursday.
The chamber surveyed 870 member-businesses, most of which were small to medium enterprises, about how government regulation impacted their lives.
Respondents said the three biggest red tape burdens were workplace health and safety, employment conditions and employing workers.
Chief executive Peter Anderson said the national survey was an effort by the chamber to show the federal government how much red tape cost business.
The survey found 44% of all businesses surveyed spent up to five hours a week filling out forms and reporting business activity to federal, state or local governments.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) said the amount of time they spent on regulatory compliance had increased in the past two years.
But the demands of red tape on businesses could be alleviated, with more than 64% of respondents saying better communication could improve the burden.
- 44% of businesses spend between one and five hours a week complying with red tape
- 72% of businesses say the time they're spending on red tape has increased in the last two years
- 42.2% estimate they spent more than $10,000 complying with government regulations last year
- 59.7% say red tape has a "moderate to major" impact on their business
- 54.3% say complying with red tape has prevented making changes to grow or expand their business