New Survey: Regulations a Major Issue for Small Business

January 17, 2017

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

Molly Day

Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association (NSBA) today released the 2017 Small Business Regulations Survey which shows the massive impact regulations have on America’s small-business community, and underscores the need to greatly reduce regulatory complexity, streamline the web of federal, state and local regulations, and adhere to plain language statutes.

“The average small-business owner is spending at least $12,000 every year dealing with regulations,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “This has real-world implications: more than half of small businesses have held off on hiring a new employee due to regulatory burdens.”

The top two most burdensome areas for small business were the federal tax code and Affordable Care Act. The survey also found that regulatory burden falls squarely on the small-business owner, as he/she handles the bulk of federal regulatory compliance. Astoundingly, 14 percent of small-business owners report they spend more than 20 hours per month on federal regulations.

When asked to estimate their first year’s regulatory costs, the average was a whopping $83,019. Complexity is still the biggest problem with regulations, however, creating huge headaches even for small firms that ultimately don’t have to comply. Nearly three-in-four small firms say they have read through proposed regulations, yet 63 percent say that they only have to comply with those regulations they read half the time or less, which represents a massive waste of time.

“This survey is a clear, quantitative case for why we need regulatory restraint and reform,” stated NSBA Chair Pedro Alfonso of Dynamic Concepts, Inc. in Washington, D.C. “Our current regulatory burden is not only a strain on job growth, it is preventing many would-be entrepreneurs from starting their own business.”

The 2017 NSBA Small Business Regulations Survey was conducted on-line Nov. 28, 2016 – Jan. 10, 2017 among 1,000 small-business owners.

Please click here to download the full report.

Celebrating 80 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S. Please visit or follow us at @NSBAAdvocate.