What Legislation Significantly Impacts Small Business Operations?

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    Small Biz Digest

    What Legislation Significantly Impacts Small Business Operations?

    Navigating the complex landscape of legislation and regulation is crucial for small businesses. We've gathered insights from CEOs and Founders to uncover the most impactful laws affecting their operations. From the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the compliance challenges of the General Data Protection Regulation, discover six key pieces of legislation that are shaping the way small businesses are run today.

    • Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Benefits
    • Affordable Care Act's Insurance Mandate
    • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Compliance
    • Corporate Transparency Act Reporting Requirements
    • Litigation Funding Transparency Act Effects
    • General Data Protection Regulation Compliance

    Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Benefits

    One that's been disproportionately impactful over the last five years has been the TCJA, passed in 2017. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which was quite a significant bit of tax relief for small businesses that are organized as C-corps specifically. Baked into that was an additional 20% deduction for qualified business income under Section 199A for pass-through entities, such as S-corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. So, essentially, an across-the-board lowering of effective tax rates for numerous small business entities. This naturally led to a big boost in after-tax income and allowed well-led small businesses to reinvest in growth, employee compensation, or operational expansion. Less well-known, but no less important, the act also simplified tax filings for most entities.

    Kate Kandefer
    Kate KandeferCEO, SEOwind

    Affordable Care Act's Insurance Mandate

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one piece of legislation that has greatly changed the way small companies are managed. Small businesses have suffered greatly since the ACA mandated obligations for companies to offer their staff members health insurance.

    The ACA requires small companies with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance meeting minimal value and affordability criteria. For many small companies, this requirement has affected employment policies, employee benefits, and general financial planning. It has also pushed companies to review their labor policies in order to comply with regulations and control expenses.

    At Edstellar, we have witnessed firsthand how complying with the ACA can be challenging but also beneficial. Providing health insurance has enabled us to attract and retain outstanding staff members, thereby increasing overall job satisfaction and productivity. Our company's expansion and success depend on a more devoted and inspired staff; hence, by giving employee well-being top priority, we have achieved that.

    Arvind Rongala
    Arvind RongalaCEO, Edstellar

    Consumer Product Safety Improvement Compliance

    One piece of legislation that has significantly impacted how small businesses like ours are run is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008. This act aimed to enhance the safety of children's products by imposing strict regulations on lead content and phthalates in items intended for kids under 12 years old.

    Implementing the CPSIA was initially challenging, requiring us to revamp our entire production process to ensure compliance. However, by prioritizing safety and quality, we not only met the legal requirements but also gained the trust of our customers. Our commitment to safety resonated with parents, leading to a 57.88% increase in customer loyalty and a 23.94% growth in sales within the first year of compliance.

    Embracing the CPSIA wasn't just about following the law; it was about safeguarding the well-being of the little ones who wear our products. As we like to say, 'Safety first, style always!'

    Nikhil Soni
    Nikhil SoniFounder, The Tribe Kids

    Corporate Transparency Act Reporting Requirements

    One piece of legislation that has had a significant impact on small businesses is the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which goes into effect on January 1, 2024. This act mandates that small businesses report their beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The goal is to combat illicit activities such as tax fraud, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism by increasing transparency about who controls and benefits from these businesses.

    This regulation affects a wide range of small businesses, including LLCs and corporations, by requiring them to submit detailed information about their owners, such as names, addresses, and identification numbers. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements can result in severe penalties, both civil and criminal.

    For example, at Titan Battle Gear, we had to ensure compliance by updating our internal processes to track ownership changes and prepare the necessary documentation for submission. This involved coordinating with our legal and accounting teams to ensure all beneficial ownership information was accurately reported and up-to-date.

    Understanding and adhering to the CTA is crucial for small business owners to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with federal regulations, thus maintaining the integrity and legality of their operations.

    Andries de Villiers
    Andries de VilliersFounder, Titan BattleGear

    Litigation Funding Transparency Act Effects

    The Litigation Funding Transparency Act of 2021 has significantly changed the legal funding industry. This legislation requires plaintiff attorneys to disclose any agreements that grant an outside business a payment based on the lawsuit's outcome. Such transparency helps ensure fairness and accountability in legal proceedings.

    In my experience, this regulation has made it crucial for legal funding companies to maintain clear and comprehensive agreements. Transparency is now a legal requirement, not just a best practice. This has also fostered trust between all parties involved, as everyone is aware of any financial interests tied to the case outcome. Adhering to these requirements for small businesses in legal funding can prevent potential legal complications and enhance their credibility.

    I advise ensuring all agreements are straightforward and readily accessible. Legal funding businesses should work closely with legal teams to comply with these regulations. Reviewing and updating contracts can help avoid any disclosure issues.

    Jared Stern
    Jared SternManaging Member, Uplift Legal Funding

    General Data Protection Regulation Compliance

    One significant piece of legislation impacting small businesses at Zentro Internet has been the GDPR. Initially challenging, its strict data protection requirements compelled us to enhance our cybersecurity measures and refine our data-handling processes. This not only complied with the law but also bolstered trust with our customers. Adapting to GDPR has taught us the value of proactive compliance, turning what could be a constraint into a cornerstone of our reputation for reliability and customer care.

    Andrew Dunn
    Andrew DunnVice President of Marketing, Zentro Internet