2018 – Important Regulatory Issues for Small Business


2018 (1)

Regulatory issues facing small business are ever changing and never as simple to understand as our lawmakers intend them to be. Small business owners are constantly juggling different priorities and it can be an almost sisyphean task to keep track of proposed new regulatory changes that impact their particular industries. CoverWallet, a platform that helps small businesses buy and manage commercial insurance, has created a list of four “new” issues that you may have missed, which likely affect you and/or your business in 2018.

Tax Reform

Congress passed the first major tax overhaul in thirty years at the end of 2017. There are numerous, broad-sweeping changes that impact corporate tax rates and common business deductions, so it is imperative that small businesses understand what this means for them. What used to be a 35% rate, the corporate tax rate, has now been streamlined to 21%. In general, personal tax rates were cut for most everyone; however, deductions that include personal exemptions and the deduction for state and local income tax, have been removed. The IRS has indicated current information in the witholding tables will work with 2018 W-4’s.

State Paid Leave Laws

As of 2018, nearly 80% of states have passed some sort of paid leave law for private employers. You should expect to see changes at the state or even federal level (WorkFlex in the 21st Century Act) regarding employer coverage, employee eligibility, employee/employer notice requirements, recordkeeping, and penalties.

U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Regulations

In 2017 the Department of Labor announced that there is steady progress regarding the Final Overtime Rule and it will continue in 2018. The Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor released an RFI (Request for Information) asking for comments on the overtime regulations that define the exemptions on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. As of now, business owners are advised to continue following the current federal overtime regulations, along with the state requirements, while new federal overtime regulations and requirements are being discussed with potential adoption in early 2019. An Employment Practices Liability policy, coupled with Wage & Hour coverage, can help protect your business from potential claims involving allegations of wage and hour violations.

Privacy – Cyber Breach Related Concerns

With the rise in high-profile data breaches in 2017, many states are contemplating increased regulations as they apply to data security standards. Although the high-profile breaches were in the news, most breaches are actually suffered by small business owners. This is an area to watch for all small business owners. A Cyber Liability policy can help protect your business from the costs associated with a Cyber Security Breach.

2018 is gearing up to be a very busy year for regulatory changes. As a result, the lives of small business owners are not going to get any easier! Don’t fret, while we can’t help you with your taxes or legal issues, CoverWallet has you covered for any and all of your business insurance needs!