Mandate would force small businesses to disclose personal details about their owners to an unprecedented federal database.
Congress is considering a dangerous anti-small business proposal. Some politicians are quietly trying to enact a costly new mandate on so-called “beneficial ownership” – and we need small businesses to rally to defeat this.
The mandate in question would force small businesses to disclose personal details about their owners to an unprecedented federal database. This would only apply to the smallest companies – those with 20 or fewer workers. These are the companies that can least afford another burden.
Congress may consider this issue as soon as next week. If the amendment is included in upcoming must-pass legislation, the U.S. House and Senate may each consider this burdensome mandate next week and in the following weeks. Proponents may then try to attach this so-called “beneficial ownership” mandate to every must-pass piece of legislation this year. We urge you to sign our grassroots action alert to the House and Senate. You can also call your Member of Congress and Senators directly. The sooner you speak out, the stronger our chance to stop this anti-small business mandate in its tracks.
While the goal of this mandate is supposedly to catch criminals, NFIB has made clear to Congress that this is a big government solution in search of a small business problem. It would wrap job creators in red tape, endanger their confidential information by potentially making it accessible hackers, and open the door to abuse by any federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies.
NFIB research shows that this mandate has massive costs. It would force small businesses to complete more than 130 million new paperwork hours, while adding a nearly $6 billion to small business compliance costs. It would burden small businesses that are already struggling to come through the coronavirus pandemic, killing jobs and stifling growth at the worst possible time.
More than 80% of small businesses oppose this mandate, according to NFIB surveys. As NFIB member Jim Henderson of St. Louis, Missouri has said, “this legislation makes criminals out of small business owners,” and small business owners “have to give up our privacy… that’s just not fair.”
NFIB has led the fight against this bad idea for more than a year, successfully stopping this from becoming law so far. But now lawmakers are trying to sneak beneficial ownership into must-pass legislation, including defense spending and coronavirus relief. They know the bill can’t pass on its own, so they want to force the issue and prevent open debate.
NFIB is leading the fight to kill this idea. We have joined a coalition of more than 75 groups opposing the mandate and the underhanded attempts to enact it, recently leading a coalition letter of likeminded small business groups to Congress. We continue to speak frequently with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
But to keep this proposal from passing, Congress needs to hear from you on why they should not support this. Email them now.
Your support is essential. Sign NFIB’s grassroots action alert to both chambers of Congress.