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Top 2015 Regulatory Issues for Small Businesses

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The new year is here and small business owners are more excited than ever about implementing their business plan for 2015.

With so much going on, it is easy to overlook regulatory changes and how they can impact a business. Failing to do so could lead to a variety of problems, as noted by president and CEO of Paychex Martin Mucci in a recent media release from the SurePayroll parent company:


"Staying up-to-date with the ever-changing regulatory environment can be the difference between your business maintaining compliance and potentially facing steep IRS penalties."

Below are 10 regulatory issues small businesses need to be aware of in the new year in Slideshare and text formats:


1. Tax reform and tax extenders. It may have taken longer than expected, but on December 19, 2014, the president signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. This led to roughly 50 tax extenders being expanded through December 31, 2014.

2. The Affordable Care Act. Let's face it: this act is turning things upside down for many small businesses. It is important to become familiar with the provisions of the act, as this will have an impact on many organizations.


3. Taxation of online sales. In May 2013, the United States Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, however, it stalled out last year in Congress.

By taxing online sales, brick and mortar stores will find it easier to compete head to head with Internet-based retailers. Look for this legislation to make its way to the forefront once again in 2015.

4. Immigration reform. The president has plans to make changes to the country's immigration laws, which could impact staffing and hiring processes for small businesses.

5. Overtime regulations. Sometime during the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to discuss proposed guidelines and modifications to the current overtime regulations governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

6. Employment related legislation. Are you familiar with new legislation in your state, as well as your local area? State and local governments continue to make changes, such as minimum wage increases. These changes are just as important as those that take place on the federal level.

7. Privacy. This was a buzz word of 2014, and we can expect more of the same this year. The government will continue to look at ways to improve privacy, which could include cybersecurity legislation. No company, large or small, wants to experience a data breach. Unfortunately, this has been happening quite a bit as of late.

8. Retirement. There are many changes in the works that could impact any small business that offers a retirement plan to employees (as well as those that don't). For example, Illinois, as well as other states, are looking into a change that will enroll employees who are not offered a retirement plan into an IRA.

9. FUTA credit reduction. Many states still have outstanding federal unemployment loans. Companies in these states (check out this list) will have their FUTA credit amount reduced once again in 2015 as a means of paying back this debt.

10. Banking changes. Mobile payment is all the rage, meaning that banks and other financial institutions will be making changes to accept these payments and enhance security. Many small businesses will consider accepting mobile payments, especially as this trend grows in popularity and the competition catches on.

There are many regulatory issues and changes, such as those above, that small business owner should be aware of as 2015 wears on.