UK small business owners spend an average of four days per month on internal business administration, according to a survey, and 55 per cent believe this burden is holding back growth of their companies.

The survey, published today by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), also found that 67 per cent of owners feel that the administrative burden is preventing them from focusing on the primary purpose of their business.

And 76 per cent of small business owners declared that they spent more time than they would like on business compliance, tackling issues ranging from tax, employment law issues and insurance to dealing with workplace pensions, accounting tasks or health and safety matters.

The survey found that the average small business owner spends only eight hours and 50 minutes on average per month on new business development, around one-quarter of the 33-plus hours they spend on administration.

FSB commercial director Dave Stallon said: “It is a common frustration amongst owners of smaller companies that they are unable to find the time to work on their real business activities because they are too busy completing administrative tasks, however essential they are.”

He added: “The [UK] Government has pledged to remove £10 billion worth of red tape over the course of this Parliament. FSB welcomes this focus on deregulation, which should free up small business owners to spend more time doing business and creating economic growth.”