Regulatory Alerts

Small Biz Reg Watch



Government regulations and red tape can be a tremendous barrier to small business growth. Small businesses pay a regulatory compliance cost that is 36 percent higher than large businesses. With roughly 4,100 new regulations in the pipeline it should come as no surprise that government regulations and red tape consistently rank as top concerns of small business owners.

With so many new regulations, it is important for small businesses to be aware of what is coming and how to comply. More importantly, small businesses should realize that they have a voice in the rulemaking process.

Federal agencies publish proposed and final rules and other notices and documents in the Federal Register to provide notice to “interested persons” and an opportunity to comment. is the federal government’s online portal that allows citizens to comment on regulatory actions.

Below are regulatory proposals that are open for comment that may have a significant economic impact on small businesses. The Committee on Small Business encourages entrepreneurs to get involved by letting federal agencies and departments know how their proposals will impact them. If you provide input to an agency, please feel free to share your comments and concerns with the Committee through our Open Mic page.

Regulatory Resources

The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda

Tips for Submitting Effective Comments

 Agency  Regulatory Action  How It Affects Your Small Business  Comments Due
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Health Care Law Employer Mandate
The Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer affordable health insurance to their full-time employees and dependents (i.e., children up to age 26) or face financial penalties.  The IRS proposed rule includes a method for employers to determine whether they have 50 or more employees.  A full-time employee is one that works 30 hours or more per week. Employers may calculate how many full-time employees they have by averaging the full 12 months of 2013 or by averaging a consecutive six-month period during the year to determine if they will be subject to the employer mandate or penalties in 2014.
3/18/2013- Click Here to Comment
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Net Investment Income Tax 

The Affordable Care Act requires a new 3.8% tax on either unearned investment income or income in excess of the threshold amount of $200,000 for individual filers and $250,000 for joint filers. The proposal defines unearned investment income as undistributed earnings derived from items such as rent, trusts, estates, interest, or dividends. Small businesses structured as pass-through entities often rely on investment earnings and may be affected by the new tax.
3/5/2013- Click Here to Comment
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Expansion of the Lead Paint Rule

The EPA is considering expanding its lead paint rule to cover public and commercial buildings.  EPA's current rules requires contractors, remodelers, building owners and others, to be certified by EPA and follow certain work practice standards when undertaking renovation, repair and painting activities in homes and facilities that may have lead-based paint. The agency is requesting data on the presence of lead-based paint hazards in commercial and public buildings and information on the impact of this potential rulemaking.  The EPA will hold a public meeting for interested parties on June 26, 2013, with the location to be announced.
4/1/2013- Click Here to Comment
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Review of Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
The EPA is conducting a retrospective review of a regulation, implemented in 2003, that requires concentrated animal feeding operations to apply for water permits for their animal discharge and waste. The EPA is soliciting comments from the affected small businesses, farmers and ranchers, on whether there is a need to change or eliminate the rule.
3/1/2013- Click Here to Comment
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Revisions to Economic Analyses of Critical Habitat Designations
NOAA and FWS are proposing to change their regulations for analyzing critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act. The agencies are proposing to release draft economic analysis concurrently with any proposed critical habitat designations and to change how the economic impact of designations are analyzed.
2/6/2013- Click Here to Comment