I have worked with the owners of quite a few SMEs and I have experienced first hand that they spend more time & energy understanding new regulations than complying to them!
This is also what a survey by the UK's FSB (Federation of Small Business) concluded a couple of years ago!
When an SME also exports, imagine doing that for more than 1 countries/bodies of law/regulationss!
That is one of the reasons why IMO the EU Single Market needs Political Union in order to "work" for the SMEs and micro firms. Instead of the Eurozone being a playground for US, Chinese and other multinationals due to the low prices of their products in the Eurozone due to the expensive Euro! But that is another post (or posts, see my archive and labels on this blog).