Each election day brings new changes to local, state and federal government officials, who in turn tend to implement changes at varying levels of government. Some of these changes can be beneficial to small businesses. For example, changes in tax laws and other regulations can have far reaching impacts on how a small business conducts its business. Many politicians are interested in putting measures in place to make it easier to operate small businesses. With election day nearing, here are ways in which politics and small business can enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
Small business are key drivers of the U.S. economy, and as such, many politicians want to help small businesses to thrive. As recently as 2010, members of the House have passed tax legislation aimed at making tax obligations easier for small business owners. A 2012 CNN Money article titled, “Obama’s Small Business Tax Cuts Explained,” outlines several of the changes to U.S. tax regulations that are aimed to help small businesses. Among them are limits on penalties that may be incurred due to tax errors. The article states, “Companies that make errors on their taxes are forced to pay penalties. Depending on the type of mistake, they pay anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, but in every case, paying such a high fine hurts small businesses proportionally more than large companies. The Small Business Jobs Act permanently changed that, capping penalties as 75 percent of the mistake.”
Protection against infringement suits
Along with tax benefits, new legislation has been enacted to protect small business owners from the damage done by frivolous law suits. In 2013, the White House appointed a task force to develop new legislation designed to protect high tech patent owners from costly lawsuits. An article on Mondaq.com titled, “White House Announces Initiatives Against Patent Trolls,” details the findings of the task force and how they plan to combat these so-called, “patent trolls.” The purpose of this task force is stated in the article, “Innovators continue to face challenges from Patent Assertion Entities [PAEs], companies that, in the President’s words, ‘don’t actually produce anything themselves,’ and instead develop a business model ‘to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.'”
These are just some of the ways in which politics can aid small business owners as they go about their business. Small business owners will benefit from keeping up with policy changes enforced by politicians in their communities and communicating with them if there are policies they would like to see changed.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.