Tax credit regulations, the Social Security Conditions & Benefits Act and the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations are the three areas businesses find most time-consuming and complex to deal with.
The Equal Pay Act and the National Minimum Wage Act were considered the least amount of effort, according to more than 1000 businesses questioned by research and consultancy firm j4b.
The research also revealed that small businesses suffered the biggest burden from regulation.
Caroline Masundire, development director of j4b, said; "As a director of an SME and with the research and data resources at our disposal, I felt compelled to conduct this study in response to Gordon Brown's call for businesses to tell government about the impact of the red tape burden"
More than 80 per cent of businesses citing regulations as requiring more or excessive administration than necessary suggested that entrepreneurship, innovation and business growth could be stifled by government enforced red tape, j4b said in its report.
Ms Masundire also said j4b had also found it difficult to research all common regulations and legislation.
"Despite researching and talking to different agencies and organisations, there does not appear to be one definitive list - we relied on experts as well as our own experience in drawing up the list," she said.
"Businesses did say that access to a plain English website or guide on regulations would be really useful to help them.
"We know that there is support offered through the Business Link websites - however it would appear that businesses are not aware of or using this service."