Administrative burden refers to the workload and effort required to comply with laws and regulations that do not directly contribute to the production or output of a business. From the perspective of the business, this burden can be a distraction, cost, delay, and source of uncertainty, risk, and stress. While administrative burdens may serve important purposes, such as ensuring fair taxation, promoting health and safety, and protecting the environment, they can also be unnecessarily complex, inaccessible, opaque, and rigid, which can disproportionately impact small businesses that may lack the resources and specialized skills to navigate them. Even for large businesses, administrative burdens can introduce delays, costs, and uncertainty into operations and projects. Some examples of administrative burden include:
- Filling out and submitting paperwork for licenses, permits, and other approvals.
- Complying with reporting and record-keeping requirements.
- Responding to audits and inspections.
- Complying with health and safety regulations.
- Complying with environmental regulations.
- Complying with data protection and privacy regulations.