Businesses have given the Government their views about regulation in the latest Business Perception Survey, which helps ministers to identify areas for possible reform.
The results showed agricultural businesses were much more likely than those in other sectors to say complying with regulation was their greatest challenge, and they also spent considerably more on using external agents to help them abide by the law.
Completing paperwork, filling out forms and keeping records on facts and figures were seen as the most burdensome activities, closely followed by keeping up-to-date with new regulations and having to provide the same information more than once.
Automatic pension enrolment was viewed as a particular challenge, with 11 per cent of businesses expecting the new rules to increase their regulatory burden over the next 12 months.
Agricultural businesses were the least likely to report an increase in sales turnover in the past year, with just 32 per cent saying they had seen a rise, compared to 50 per cent of businesses overall.