Governor Matt Bevin’s Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative, formally announced on July 6, 2016, is further evidence that Kentucky is a great state for entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, and investors. This is third article in this Biz&TaxHax series focused on key Kentucky-based programs, initiatives, credits, and incentives that benefit Kentucky small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and investors. Our prior posts in this series summarized the Top 5 Benefits of the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit and the Top 5 Benefits of the Kentucky Angel Investment Tax Credit. In addition to those tax credit programs, Governor Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative is a strong pro-business step that Kentucky companies and business owners have desired for decades. This Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative aims to provide the following key benefits to Kentucky investors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses:
- Review, Identify, and Remove Burdensome Kentucky Business Regulations.
Governor Bevin began the Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative by commissioning cabinet secretaries to begin a thorough review of Kentucky regulations currently in place, and has also asked Kentucky companies to weigh-in with their thoughts as to which regulations may be overly burdensome or unnecessary. Through the process, the state has determined that there are over 4,700 regulations currently on the books in Kentucky. In fact, Governor Bevin recently cited a report of findings in a study of the number and breadth of Kentucky administrative regulations, which shows that Kentucky administrative regulations increased by 250% between the years 1975 and 2015. This statistic is further proof of the problem that Governor Bevin is trying to remedy – that Kentucky has been one of the most highly regulated states in the U.S.
As a breath of fresh air for Kentucky small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors, the Red Tape Reduction Initiative has already generated over 14,000 visits to the program’s website and over 500 suggestions from business owners to be evaluated. This is in addition to the review work that the Governor’s own staff members are conducting. By all outward appearances, it seems the Governor and his administration are committed to reducing the regulatory burden that has plagued Kentucky entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners for too long. This is a strong step in the right direction, and we’ll look forward to continuing updates that hopefully demonstrate progress in eliminating unnecessary and over-burdensome government regulation in Kentucky.
- Transform Government Regulators into Regulation Managers with an Attitude of Efficiency and Effectiveness.
The Governor’s above-noted call to current action for review, identification, and removal of unnecessary and over-burdensome Kentucky regulation was not his only directive. Governor Bevin is also encouraging regulators that are part of his Kentucky government administration to adopt a more pro-business attitude. Through this instruction, the administration hopes to create an environment of regulation managers who are focused more on the intent, efficiency, and effectiveness of Kentucky’s various regulatory frameworks and individual regulations as practically applied to the real here-and-now Kentucky businesses and issues they face. This is a key positive aspect of the Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative. If Kentucky regulators maintain a pro-business attitude in the future, it will certainly help Kentucky entrepreneurs and start-ups get off the ground and small businesses expand, and should encourage investors to offer more capital, more frequently, to Kentucky companies.
- Encourage Job Creation and Investment.
A key stated purpose of the Kentucky Red Tape Reduction Initiative is to spark investment in existing Kentucky companies as well as new Kentucky business ventures, bringing additional jobs to the Commonwealth. Obviously, for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses seeking to grow, obtaining necessary capital is a key goal and access to capital can be a significant hurdle. Along with the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit and Kentucky Angel Investment Tax Credit, the Red Tape Reduction Initiative provides additional incentive for: (i) Kentucky entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses to expand their ventures and hire new employees in Kentucky; and (ii) investors to invest their capital in Kentucky entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses. Not only should these initiatives and credits increase business growth and profits, but they should also lead to reduced costs to consumers, who often times pay increased rates for goods and services as a result of companies passing-through their internal costs of compliance with over-burdensome state regulations.
As always, for investors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses dealing with Kentucky regulations, it is best to consult an experienced Kentucky business attorney. A Kentucky business lawyer can fully evaluate your facts and circumstances along with applicable law and guidance to develop the most effective, efficient, and proper solution to your Kentucky regulatory compliance and planning needs.