Regulatory Watch


Background

Government regulations and red tape can be a tremendous barrier to small business growth. Small businesses' regulatory compliance costs are 36 percent higher than large businesses so it is no surprise that regulations consistently rank as a top concern for small business owners. Roughly 3,300 regulations are in the pipeline this year and many of them will affect small businesses. 

Below are regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment. An agency publishes an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) with a proposed rule if it expects that the rule will have a significant economic impact on substantial number of small businesses. The IRFA provides information about the potential effects of the proposed rule on small businesses.  

Agencies' initial analyses of small business impacts are not always correct or complete, so the Committee on Small Business encourages small businesses to file comments through the government's online portal, Regulations.gov, and tell federal agencies how the regulatory proposal will affect them. If you provide input to an agency, please feel free to share your concerns with the Committee through our Open Mic page.



 

 




Definition of the Term "Fiduciary"

Department of Labor (DOL), Employee Benefits Security Administration


The DOL has issued a proposed rule to revise the regulatory definition of term "fiduciary" for the purposes of the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA).  The proposed rule would expand the number of service providers that are subject to fiduciary standards.  Small service providers (e.g., broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, consultants, appraisers, and others providing investment advice to small ERISA plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs)) would incur the costs of implementing new policies and procedures, training, and creating disclosures.  The DOL does not expect that the increased costs associated with the proposed rule would result in discontinued service to ERISA plans or IRAs.  (Published 4-20-2015; Comment Period Extension Published 6-18-2015)

IRFA YES I COMMENTS DUE 7-21-2015

National Organic Program; Origin of Livestock

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service


The USDA has issued a proposed rule to amend the origin of livestock requirements for dairy animals under the USDA organic regulations. This proposed action would specify that a producer can transition dairy animals into organic production once and would also clarify how breeder stock should be managed on organic livestock farms.  Small dairy operations would be affected. (Published 4-28-2015)


IRFA YES I COMMENTS DUE 7-27-2015

 Guidance to Implement Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
 
Department of Labor (DOL)

The DOL has issued proposed guidance to assist federal agencies in implementing Executive Order (E.O.) 13673 that requires contractors seeking federal government contracts worth more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 labor laws and Executive Orders, as well as equivalent state laws, during the preceding three years.  Small prime contractors and subcontractors would be required to report this information to contracting agencies which will use the information to determine whether or not to deny contracting opportunities to companies.  The guidance was published simultaneously with the proposed rule issued by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to implement the E.O.  (Published 5-28-2015)

IRFA NO I COMMENTS DUE 7-27-2015

 Implementation of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

Department of Defense (DOD),General Services Administration (GSA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The DOD, GSA and NASA have issued a proposed rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement Executive Order 13673 that requires contractors seeking federal government contracts worth more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 labor laws and Executive Orders, as well as equivalent state laws, during the preceding three years.  Thousands of small businesses that are doing or would like to do business with the federal government as contractors or subcontractors would face costly new reporting and recordkeeping requirements and could be negatively affected if they are denied contracting opportunities.   The proposed was published simultaneously with the guidance issued by the Department of Labor to implement the E.O.    (Published 5-28-2015)

IRFA YES I COMMENTS DUE 7-27-2015

 Investment Company Reporting Modernization

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC has issued a proposed rule to modernize the reporting and disclosure of information by registered investment companies.  The proposed rule would change the existing reporting requirements and require investment companies to file additional forms.  Small investment companies and business development companies would be affected.  (Published 6-12-2015)

IRFA YES I COMMENTS DUE 8-11-2015

 Small Business Subcontracting Improvements
Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The DOD, GSA and NASA have issued a proposed rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration (SBA), pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, concerning small business subcontracting.  Among other things, SBA's final rule authorizes procuring agencies to consider proposed small business participation when evaluating offers from other than small business concerns and to require other than small prime contractors to report data on small business subcontracting in connection with orders. (Published 6-10-2015)

IRFA YES I COMMENTS DUE 8-10-2015


Regulatory Resources:


The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments