Most Americans have probably never heard of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and many small business owners are probably unaware of a new federal law called the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which requires them to disclose personal information to the agency. Yet business owners face jail time for neglecting to comply.

FinCEN’s goal is to crack down on fake businesses that serve as fronts for illegal activities. Yet, criminals—practically by definition—are not going to file with the agency. Instead, the law will simply place another bureaucratic burden on millions of legitimate small businesses. Big businesses, by the way, are exempt from the law.

To provide relief to business owners across the country, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R- Ala.) is championing the Repealing Big Brother Overreach Act to overturn the CTA in its entirety.

Yet, the CTA is just one example of the labyrinthian regulations that burden small business owners every day. It’s impossible to keep up with the endless stream of new regulations.

To this point, noting that small businesses shouldn’t be penalized for what they don’t know, Rep. Zachary Nunn (R-Iowa) recently introduced the Small Business Red Tape Relief Act to hold unelected bureaucrats in D.C. accountable for educating Main Street businesses on their reporting responsibilities.

Furthermore, in an attempt to address the core problem of overregulation in the first place, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, including Brad Finstad (R-Minn.), Yadira Caraveo (D-Colo.), and Nathaniel Moran (R-Texas), introduced the Prove It Act earlier this year to force federal agencies to consider how regulations would affect small businesses.

The Prove It Act would require federal agencies to analyze the impact of their regulatory actions and mitigate the impact on small businesses by:

  • Creating a way for small businesses to raise concerns when regulators do not consider both the direct and indirect costs their regulations place on them;
  • Allowing small businesses to ask their chief advocate in government to review agencies’ work and make the government prove they are fully compliant with already existing laws;
  • If regulators fail to comply with this review process, then small businesses would be exempt from the agency’s regulations altogether;
  • Ensuring small businesses can easily access preexisting guidance documents online and create a way for small businesses to directly raise questions or concerns with their regulators.

The overarching sentiment expressed by all of these bills’ sponsors and supporters is impeding small businesses through regulatory overreach, stealing opportunities from hardworking Americans, and putting the United States at a global disadvantage.

Regulatory overreach is common in Europe and is well known to stifle small business activity. Europe has experienced significantly lower economic growth due to its oppressive regulatory regime and due to the regulatory hodge-podge inherent in its fragmented market. Europe enjoys far fewer small business successes than the United States does.

Small businesses are the pillars of many communities across America and account for about 43.5 percent of the nation’s GDP, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As someone with years of experience in owning and operating Main Street businesses, I can confidently say that excessive regulations on small businesses have dire consequences and take opportunities from many thousands of people in every single state.

With fewer regulations, the United States can continue to preserve its entrepreneurial spirit, support groundbreaking innovations, and maintain global economic preeminence. We should applaud the lawmakers who are fighting to beat back small business overregulation.