Businesses' Views on Red Tape

Administrative and Regulatory Burdens on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Businesses’ Views on Red Tape provides the first opportunity to systematically compare data across 11 OECD countries. The data show how small and medium-sized enterprises perceive national administrative and regulatory costs. Regulations and government formalities, so-called "red tape", are important tools used by governments to carry out public policies in many policy areas, including safety, health, and environmental protection. However, if they are poorly designed or applied, inefficient, or outdated, they can impede innovation, entry, investment, and create unnecessary barriers to trade, investment, and economic efficiency. The result of poor regulation and formalities is that national economies become less able to grow, compete, adjust, and create jobs. Based on a survey of almost 8 000 businesses, this report assesses the quality, application and burdens of employment, environment and tax regulations and formalities. The results are dramatic: for example, red tape accounts for 4% of the annual turnover of companies, while the hardest hit are the smallest companies, and these costs are growing in most countries.

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