Bureaucracy Index 2019
1 de octubre de 2019

Spain is the European country where micro companies spend more hours dealing with red tape. This statement is drawn out of a recent international index elaborated by several European think tanks, including Civismo. In this report, participating countries have estimated how much time micro companies devote in the resolution of all the duties and demands of running a business.

Small companies in Spain spend 363 hours per year solving bureaucratic duties. This result includes activities such as hiring and firing agenda, worktime recording and management, administration of employees´ taxes and contributions, the implementation of legal changes or the preparation of obligatory statistical reports and certifications, among other activities.

The Bureaucracy Index also reviews the same data in Slovakia (221 hours), Czech Republic (226) and Lithuania (244). Following the operation of a model industrial micro-company with four employees over the course of a year, the Index has detected a gap between labour policies with corresponding bureaucratic obligations and the day-to-day operations of national micro companies. This workload, in terms of time, is a major obstacle in the achievement of the necessary productivity and efficiency.

Among the analyzed countries, Spain is the one with the most substantial “time spent on Employment administration” and  “time spent on Operation Administration”, while it is the country that has the least amount of time to spend on other bureaucratic matters of a legal, statistical nature or of certification – just six hours per year-.

On the one hand, those activities that consume the longest time in the Spanish business environment (259 hours per year) are tax compliance, waste management, vehicle registration and deregistration, and H&S agenda. On the other hand, those tasks related to HR, that is, payment of salaries, taxes and contributions, hiring and firing, and worktime recording comprises almost 98 hours per year.

International Bureaucracy Day is celebrated on 29 September; initiatives such as this Index are intended to make policymakers aware of the disproportionate burden placed on entrepreneurs and the need to lighten it so that they can devote their time to tasks that will benefit economic and social productivity.

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