Business Regulation Costs On Rise

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    The total cost of regulation to Canadian businesses has grown to $37.1 billion, up from $31.7 billion in 2012, says ‘Canada’s Red Tape Report’ by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In terms of time, businesses spent an average of 842 hours a year complying with government rules and paperwork in 2014. That figure was up 12 per cent from 2012. The report says 42 per cent of small business owners would not advise their children to start a business given the burden of regulation. Not all regulation is red tape, but business owners say that regulation could be cut by about 30 per cent, or $11 billion a year, with no negative effect on important health, safety, and environmental objectives of regulation. The savings would translate to 4.5 hours a week of extra time for the average business. The study also found that regulation costs Canadian small businesses significantly more than their U.S. counterparts. The largest cost difference between the two countries was found in businesses with fewer than five employees. Businesses of this size pay 58 per cent more per employee in Canada ($6,683) than in the U.S. ($4,240).