Wait a Second: Small Businesses Pay How Much in Regulatory Startup Costs?

Date: February 08, 2017

‘The impact of regulatory burden cannot be overstated.’

We all know regulations are burdensome for small businesses, but a new survey sheds light on just how difficult they are.

On average, small business owners pay more than $83,000 in regulatory startup costs, according to a National Small Business Association (NSBA) survey


The survey also found that the average small business owner spends at least $12,000 every year on regulations, and nearly one in three spends more than 80 hours each year dealing with federal regulations. And while the survey noted that most small businesses (90 percent) have not been fined for regulatory noncompliance, those that have pay an average of $30,651 over five years. 

In addition, 58 percent of small business owners said the source of their most burdensome regulations are federal, followed by 23 percent for state regulations, and 7 percent for local. The survey aligned with NFIB’s 2016 Small Business Problems & Priorities report, which identified unreasonable government regulations as the second most pressing problem facing owners today. 

Despite all this, small businesses are highly optimistic things will change for the better, according to NFIB research. These results came in post-election, when Donald Trump, who pledged during his campaign to roll back regulations, was elected president. 

In January, he said he believes he can cut regulations by 75 percent or more, according to CNBC. Not long after, Trump signed an executive order requiring two regulations be eliminated for any one new regulation enacted, Credit.com reports. 

And last Friday, Trump signed two more executive orders dealing with regulations. The first requires federal agencies to report on what does and does not work about the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The second directs the Labor Department to cease work on the fiduciary rule, The Hill reports. 

NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said small businesses are “eager to learn more details on President Trump’s initiative,” but “are very pleased that he understands the critical need for regulatory reform.”


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