Federal, state and local regulations are combining to create a massive $8.4 billion in compliance costs for New South Wales businesses each and every year, according to the latest NSW Business Chamber Red Tape Survey.
The survey found that the most costly tasks include filling in forms, keeping records and understanding and implementing rules. The most complex regulators are local government, planning and employment.
NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright said that overregulation is a major issue for business.
“Red tape is essentially an artificial barrier we choose to put on our enterprises. For every dollar that is wasted on filling out forms and keeping the government in the loop on what’s happening in every workplace, money is taken away from growing a business and paying salaries,” he said.
“Businesses are identifying that planning, employment and local government are the most complex regulators. Each of these areas is primarily the responsibility of a different level of government, so we do need to have a concerted effort by all three government levels to reduce the collective red tape burden."
According to the survey findings, red tape costs rise depending on the size of the business:
- Non employing business: $3000
- Businesses employing 1-4 people: $9000
- Businesses with fewer than 20 staff: $18 000
- Businesses with up to 200 staff: $61 000
- Businesses with over 200 staff: $386 000
The evidence is clear: Government and businesses must work to eliminate red tape and streamline complex processes. Replacing paper forms and processes with smart forms that automatically generate dynamic documentation is the first step towards reducing the administrative burden of red tape.