Criteria Used to Define a Small Business in Determining Thresholds for the Application of Federal Statutes

by Ryan Keefe, Susan M. Gates, Eric Talley

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This paper reviews federal workplace, environmental, economic regulations. It describes the purpose of and requirements associated with the regulations, any penalties associated with regulatory violations and how requirements or penalties differ for small v. large firms. The paper also describes programs designed to support small businesses and the firm characteristics that determine eligibility for such programs. This review reveals that in the regulatory sphere, there is no single definition of small business that applies across policy areas. Businesses that might be considered “small” for the purposes of one regulation may be considered “large” for the purposes of another.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Exemption from Federal Workplace Regulations

  • Chapter Three

    Environmental Regulations

  • Chapter Four

    Exemptions from Economic Regulation

  • Chapter Five

    Legislation Supportive of Small Businesses

  • Chapter Six


The research described in this report was conducted by the Kauffman-RAND Center for the Study of Small Business and Regulation.

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