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Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Cost of Business Registrations


  • Productivity Commission


The Productivity Commission has released two companion reports, benchmarking business regulation across jurisdictions: one on the Quantity and Quality of Regulation, the other on the Cost of Business Registrations. The first report provides indicators of the stock and flow of regulation and regulatory activities, and quality indicators for a range of regulatory processes, across all levels of government. The indicators provide some baseline information for each jurisdiction, against which trends in the quantity and quality of regulation might be assessed in the future. It is apparent that there are significant differences across jurisdictions, reflecting different regulatory approaches as well as the characteristics of the jurisdictions themselves. This second report provides estimates of compliance costs for business in obtaining a range of registrations required by the Australian, state, territory and selected local governments. The registrations include generic requirements for incorporation, taxation and business name registrations. In addition, the Commission benchmarked specific registration costs incurred for five types of business (a café, builder, long day child care, real estate agent and winery). It emerged that the estimated time costs of business registrations were generally relatively low, with most costs and differences across jurisdictions relating to fees and charges. These reports are the first instalment of a series of studies benchmarking Australian business regulation across jurisdictions. They have also served to test the usefulness of different survey techniques and benchmarking indicators and provided lessons for future exercises. In particular, the business registrations study highlighted the potential challenges in obtaining adequate data from individual businesses. The reports should facilitate a more informed discussion about comparative performance and help jurisdictions identify where they might improve their regulatory performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Productivity Commission, 2008. "Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Cost of Business Registrations," Research Reports, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia, number 28b.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:prodcs:28b Note: 248 pages. This report is one of a pair in the first year of this second stage. It develops and applies benchmark estimates for business registrations for five types of businesses. A companion report (Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Quantity and Quality) presents indicators of the quantity and quality of business regulation across jurisdictions.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adolfo Maza & José Villaverde, 2006. "A territorial analysis of wage convergence/differentials in Spain," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(4), pages 615-630.
    2. Kathleen E. Macmillan & Patrick Grady, 2007. "A New Prescription: Can the BC-Alberta TILMA Resuscitate Internal Trade in Canada?," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 106, October.
    3. Brosnan, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 1987. "Modelling the Determinants of Trans-Tasman Migration after World War II," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(183), pages 313-329, December.
    4. de Bruijn, Roland & Kox, Henk & Lejour, Arjan, 2008. "Economic benefits of an Integrated European Market for Services," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 301-319.
    5. Guy Debelle & James Vickery, 1999. "Labour Market Adjustment: Evidence on Interstate LabourMobility," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(3), pages 249-263.
    6. Frigyes Ferdinand Heinz & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2006. "Cross-border labour mobility within an enlarged EU," Occasional Paper Series 52, European Central Bank.
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    More about this item


    benchmarking; business regulation; compliance costs; regulatory processes; regulatory performance;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • D - Microeconomics
    • H - Public Economics


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