Sunday, February 10, 2013

An idea for protecting small business from the regulatory state

As ideas go for relieving the regulatory siege on small business, this is pretty creative:

Small businesses need protection from the encroaching regulatory state, and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a Michigan Republican, has a great idea on how to provide it. In a new memo being circulated on Capitol Hill, the Congressman proposes:

  • When an agency finds a small business to be in violation of a regulation, instead of an immediate fine they provide them with a notice that they are in violation.
  • The small business then has six months to fix the problem.
  • If, after six months, the business can prove they are making a good faith effort to fix the problem, they are granted a three-month extension.
  • If, after this time, the business has not corrected the problem, it will be fined or punished as the regulation calls for. If the problem has been corrected, the fine is waived.
  • This simple plan ensures that businesses cannot ignore regulations—they’ll get fined eventually—while simultaneously providing them an opportunity to become compliant without being hit by fines that could shut them down.
    The definition of "small business" should be "too small to have a significant in-house law department."


    1. This seems to have the consequence that small businesses can violate regulations with impunity for under six months.

    2. That's not a "consequence." That's the point.


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