Small businesses are responsible for nearly two-thirds of job growth in this country. However, regulatory compliance limits small business expansion. The annual cost per employee of complying with federal regulations is significantly higher for smaller firms than larger firms.

Unnecessary regulation is a perennial cause of concern for NFIB’s members and is particularly burdensome on small businesses, which lack the resources and personnel to keep up with new rules. According to NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey, “unreasonable government regulations” ranks as a top problem. Unfortunately, the regulatory burden on small business has continued to grow for decades. Congress and the administration must curtail costly regulations that disproportionately affect small businesses. Reforming the regulatory process is one of NFIB’s top legislative priorities.

Burdensome Regulations

Small Business Registry Reporting

The Corporate Transparency Act’s reporting requirement took effect January 1, 2024. This law requires corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs) with 20 or fewer employees and $5 million or less in gross annual revenues to report beneficial ownership information containing personally identifiable information of small business owners to FinCEN.

NFIB opposed the Corporate Transparency Act, which created the beneficial ownership information reporting requirements and is concerned that FinCEN has failed to adequately define what businesses, and who exactly, must report.

NFIB supports H.R. 8147 and S. 4297, Repealing Big Brother Overreach Act.

Resources on Beneficial Reporting Requirements:


NFIB-Supported Regulatory Reform Legislation

NFIB supports regulatory reform proposals, including the Prove It Act, Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, the Guidance Out of Darkness (GOOD) Act, and the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act.

NFIB supports efforts to strengthen the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) by expanding Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panels to all agencies (currently only EPA, OSHA, and CFPB must conduct SBAR Panels), requiring public disclosure of the regulatory alternatives the agency examined, requiring agencies to consider the indirect costs from regulation or requiring the SBA Office of Advocacy to certify the RFA analyses of agencies.

NFIB also supports the Unnecessary Agency Regulations Reduction Act, which would create a process to eliminate outdated, duplicative, or burdensome agency regulations by requiring the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to submit a list of regulations to consolidate or repeal on an annual basis.

NFIB supports the Providing Accountability through Transparency Act and the Guidance Clarity Act, both of which are meant to make government actions easier for the public to understand. The Providing Accountability through Transparency Act would require government agencies to include and make publicly available online a 100-word plain language summary for each proposed rule. The Guidance Clarity Act would require federal agencies to include text in guidance documents clarifying that guidance documents are not laws, and do not have the force and effect of a law.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army issued their final WOTUS rule in January 2023. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the WOTUS Rule determines which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction. The radical expansion of federal authority over private property wetlands across the country will require owners to spend more time and money on compliance.

The rule went into effect on March 20, 2023, which expands the EPA’s jurisdiction over private property.

On May 25, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 9-0 decision in a significant WOTUS case—Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. The Supreme Court determined the EPA and Department of the Army overstepped their regulatory authority under the CWA. This ruling affirmed NFIB’s amicus brief in the Sackett case, which significantly narrows the reach of the federal CWA and is a victory for small business farmers, ranchers, home builders, and contractors. Considering the decision in Sackett, the EPA issued a revised WOTUS rule.

Scope 3

NFIB opposes Federal requirements like the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule in 2022 that would require public companies to calculate and report the greenhouse gas emissions of the private companies with which they do business, also known as “Scope 3.” Scope 3 climate disclosures for small businesses were removed from the SEC’s final rule, which is a significant victory for small businesses.

NFIB Advocacy on Regulations 

NFIB is actively advocating against regulations that will harm small businesses. Federal agencies must do better when analyzing the effects of their rules on small businesses and allow more opportunities for small business input.

Recently submitted comments from NFIB to the White House, Congress, and various federal agencies includes:

6/5/2024NFIB Expert Testifies about the Overregulation of Main Street to Congress

5/22/2024U.S. House Committee on Small Business testimony on the impact of burdensome regulations on small business

5/21/2024Key Vote letter of support of S.J. Res. 58, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Department of Energy (DOE) final rule on gas furnace efficiency standards

4/18/2024Key Vote letter in support of S. 4072, a bill to prohibit the use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce certain rules of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

3/21/2024Small Businesses Back Prove It Act to Reduce Burdensome Regulations

2/1/2024Letter of support to Rep. Finstad for the Prove It Act

2/1/2024Small Business Coalition Urges Congress to Reduce Red Tape

8/23/2023Senate Small Business Committee small business regulations hearing statement for the record

6/30/2023Letter of support to Rep. Luetkemeyer for the Guidance Clarity Act

6/13/2023House Oversight and Accountability Committee regulations hearing statement for the record

5/22/2023Letter of support for S.J. Res. 11, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the EPA’s heavy-duty truck final rule

3/16/2023Key vote letter for H.J. Res. 27, the CRA resolution to repeal the EPA’s WOTUS final rule

3/8/2023House Small Business Committee WOTUS hearing statement for the record

2/28/2023Letter of support for H.J.Res. 27, the CRA resolution to repeal the EPA’s WOTUS final rule

2/27/2023Letter of support for S.J. Res. 8, the CRA resolution to repeal the Department of Labor’s ESG final rule

2/8/2023House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee WOTUS hearing statement for the record

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