New NFIB Small Business Legal Center White Paper: Strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act to Protect Small Business

Date: May 02, 2023

Paper explores disproportionate impact of federal regulations on small businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2023) – The NFIB Small Business Legal Center released a new White Paper titled, “The Regulatory Flexibility Act: Turning a Paper Tiger into a Legitimate Constraint on One-Size-Fits-All Agency Rulemaking.” The paper explores the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), its purpose to protect small businesses from one-size-fits-all rulemaking, the lack of RFA compliance by administrative agencies, and what today’s Congress can do to reinvigorate the RFA. The paper was written by NFIB Legal Center Staff Attorney Rob Smith.

“When the Regulatory Flexibility Act was passed, it was a bipartisan effort to address the disproportionate impact of federal government regulations on small businesses,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “It has been over 25 years since the last major update to the RFA. In that time, the administrative state has grown exponentially, as has the regulatory burden on small businesses. Now more than ever, small businesses feel the costly and time-consuming burden of federal regulations that fail to consider their resources and needs. Small businesses would once again benefit from congressional action to protect them from one-size-fits-all rulemaking, as the 96th Congress did in enacting the RFA.”

The Regulatory Flexibility Act was unanimously passed in Congress and signed into law by President Carter in 1980. The RFA requires agencies to consider the impact of each new proposed and final rule on small businesses. With the RFA, agencies are required to analyze the impact of regulations on small businesses.

The paper has three main purposes: 1) to bring attention to the RFA and its mandate that agencies consider the effects of any proposed or final rule on small businesses, 2) to highlight the recent lack of compliance with the RFA by administrative agencies, and 3) to offer legislative recommendations that will ensure agency compliance with the RFA and protect small businesses from disproportionately bearing the burden of one-size-fits-all rulemaking.

View the full paper here.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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