House passes bill that eases rules for small business owners

The U.S. House passed a bill last week to simplify regulations for small business owners who want to sell or merge their companies.

The Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017 (H.R. 477) streamlines the securities registration system for mergers and acquisition brokers who transfer the ownership of small, privately held companies. This will reduce costs for small businesses.

“This commonsense regulatory reform promotes economic growth and development, strengthens job creation and preservation, and provides immediate and substantial relief for small business professionals,” Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), the bill’s sponsor, said. “Business brokerage services are critically important to entrepreneurs who start, build, and eventually want to sell their private companies. In today’s divisive political environment, H.R. 477 demonstrates that Congress can act in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our economy and positively impact the lives of hardworking Americans.”

Bad actors and shell companies are disqualified from utilizing the process.

“Unfortunately, our small businesses labor under a gazillion regulations, some of which are quite good and quite helpful, but in the aggregate, they can be a very heavy burden and cost upon our small businesses. One is an unnecessary registration system for small business brokers,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said. “This is commonsense reform, it is a balanced reform, it’s good for small business, it is bipartisan, and I urge all of my colleagues to adopt H.R. 477.”

The legislation passed unanimously, 426-0.