BUSINESS owners spent 11 hours or more on compliance paperwork last year, a survey on regulation costs shows.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry red tape survey also found almost one in two businesses thought regulatory compliance was costing them at least $10,000.
But more than half of the survey respondents also told the chamber they were unable to pass on the costs to consumers.
Chamber chief Kate Carnell said while regulation was "necessary", when they overloaded business owners they did "more harm than good".
The survey of about 700 businesses, mostly small enterprises, also showed record-keeping was the most costly compliance activity while workplace health and safety was the most complex issue.