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I wonder how many small business owners are aware of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. In recent years, small businesses have added more new jobs than large businesses and firms with less than 50 employees have contributed most. The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, though well intentioned, is bad legislation that would make it much harder for small businesses to grow and create jobs here in North Dakota.

Here’s how it would work: it requires small business owners with fewer than 20 workers to file frequent reports with the federal government. If they mess it up in any way, they could pay up to $10,000, go to prison for three years, or both.

Here’s the problem. Small businesses don’t have a fraction of the resources as big corporations. I don’t have a legal department or compliance officers to keep my business up to speed with government mandates. Here’s the truth: I’m the one that’s going to have to shoulder the brunt of these new proposed regulations, taking up precious time that could be spent doing things like creating new jobs.

Here’s another reason to oppose it: while the bill promises “transparency,” small businesses owners like myself are worried it’s simply a violation of privacy. The federal government would keep and collect my personal information for years, even if my business closes. Federal and state law enforcement would have access to that information with a simple request. We live in a time where government agencies are suffering from internal leaks. Let’s not make it easier to steal from hard working small business owners in North Dakota.

That’s why a full 80% of my fellow members at NFIB, the National Federation of Independent Business, oppose this bad legislation. We’re asking North Dakota’s Congressional Delegation to stand with us.

Scott Olin, Dickinson

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