The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on small businesses to rethink the way they approach new legislation, after research showed companies are spending around £5,000 on legislative consultants a year.
However, the BAPC has played down the claim and said that printers should be speaking to consultants on a regular basis.
Ahead of the common commencement date on 1 October, which will see a raft of legislation changes go live, the FPB carried out a survey on the cost of complying with regulations.
According to the survey, UK small businesses are paying almost £6bn per year to outside consultants to help comply with legislation.
Around two thirds of respondents said that fees had increased in the past two years, with an average of £4,900 spent annually on companies offering legal guidance on areas such as employment and health and safety, up from an average of £2,100 in 2009.
FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: "With just a month to go before October’s common commencement date there is no hiding from the fact that red tape compliance costs – including steep consultancy fees – are hindering job creation and, by extension, economic growth.
"Compared to other industries, at present we are seeing a relatively robust services sector, including business services, which suggests that more struggling small firms are seeking out external support. Perhaps some companies providing commercially driven business services are exploiting this demand by charging high fees. It is always advisable to shop around for a better deal."
While BAPC chairman Sidney Bobb said that companies should not be spending £5,000 on consultants, he said he believed printers should make more use of consultants than they currently do.
"Probably one in every three printers that we advise to speak to a consultant actually does," he said. "Whether they take it any further who knows. In the UK people don't want to spend cold hard cash on consultants. We say, 'this is out of our remit' but they won't go to a consultant.
"It has to be cheaper than muddling through something you don't understand yourself. In America, many printers' ambition is to become so successful that they can become a consultant, they take on as many outside agencies as they can afford. But that certainly isn't the case over here."