An important piece of legislation which would provide significant regulatory relief for small businesses is currently pending in Congress. H.R. 2542, the “Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013″ passed in the House with bipartisan support. It would reform the regulatory process whereby federal agencies would be required to consider the impact of their rules on small business. Its intent is enable small businesses to operate efficiently without unnecessary regulatory burdens. If passed, this legislation would improve and modernize the “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (RFA) instituted three decades ago and requiring federal agencies to “transparently account for the impact of regulation on small businesses.” The problem with that law, however, has been that each agency interprets what that means in its own way and often to the detriment of its intent. H.R. 2542 would establish uniformity and eliminate the ambiguity.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy estimated that in 2012, that the RFA affected compliance savings of $2.4 billion for U.S. small businesses based on just a handful of agencies that were implementing alternatives to their proposed rules which were less costly to small businesses. It is estimated that if all federal agencies adhered to RFA principles, the savings could be considerably higher.