Each year, Canadian businesses are spending $10 billion on unnecessary government regulations to the point where nearly half of small business owners plan to dissuade their children from following in their footsteps, according to a new survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

The report, released Monday, found 48 per cent of small business owners wouldn’t want their children to start a business due to the high level of regulation that currently exists.

Nearly 80 per cent of business owners say government regulations add significant stress to their lives and the vast majority of respondents (87 per cent) believe the government weighs the interests of big businesses over small businesses when making regulations.   

Overall, regulatory compliance costs Canadian businesses $36.2 billion per year, according to CFIB.

The survey also found roughly three in five small business owners felt excessive red tape discouraged them from growing their business and over two-thirds feel excessive regulations “significantly reduce” productivity in their businesses.

“Red tape is a huge hidden tax on all Canadians but it’s small business owners who are feeling the most pain,” said CFIB Vice-President Richard Truscott in a release. “They are on the front lines, frequently dealing with frustrating red tape including confusing language, processes that are longer than needed and rules that just don’t make sense.”

Businesses with fewer than five employees spend the most per employee in complying with government regulation ($6,744), whereas businesses with 100 or more employees are spending only $1,253 per employee, according to CFIB.

The report also notes Canadian businesses are paying a higher cost complying with government regulation compared to businesses south of the border.