The research, commissioned by the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) and carried out by pollsters Ipsos MORI, highlights the scale of the challenge ahead, according to its authors.
LBRO chair, Clive Grace, said: “The survey reveals how important local regulation is to UK plc and underlines the need to ensure that regulatory services work not just to protect consumers, workers and the environment, but also to support businesses in complying with regulations.”
But the Local Government Association rubbished the claim that 71% of those businesses sampled were hit as hard by councils.
Peter Hardy (Con), who sits on the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services board, said: “This research paints an entirely inaccurate picture of the relationship between businesses and local councils, which is overwhelmingly positive.
“The same figures show that eight out of ten firms consider council enforced regulations to be the same or less of a burden than tax and employment law.”