Running a small business is no easy task. One that goes well beyond the standard 40-hour work week and constantly challenges those that give it a try. But what are some of the most difficult tasks a small business owner faces? Well, The Chamber of Commerce asked this exact question to small businesses across the country, and the results may surprise you (or maybe the won’t!). Take a look.

According to their data, the biggest challenges that small businesses have is complying with government regulation. Over 22% said this was their biggest challenge, followed by consumer confidence (15%), lack of consumer demand (12%), all the way down to cash flow (7%).

So why do so many small businesses have trouble with government regulations? The Chamber of Commerce stresses the point of Federal Regulatory Fees to be a prime example. According to the Small Business Administration, the cost for small business to comply with federal regulations is much higher than that of a large corporation. In fact, their studies showed that small businesses pay nearly 30% more per employee than large companies. And with 89% of American firms having less than 20 workers, this cost adds up very quickly. The reason for the larger amount lies in the fact that many regulatory fees are fixed and not based on the number of employees. Therefore, a company with 20 employees may be paying the same regulatory fee as one with 1,000 employees! Let’s say (for example) both companies need to pay a $1,000 environmental feel; For the larger corporation this is $1 per employee ($1,000 divided by 1,000 employees), however, for the small business this is $50 per employee. Take a look at the infographic below for more staggering numbers.

Are you having trouble with federal regulations in your small business? Take a look at both the SBA and Chamber of Commerce websites for information on how to avoid unwanted penalties, fees, and headache.