With a new year comes many new business opportunities, but the calendar change also brings a long many new government regulations that govern the way you conduct business. Don’t get too distracted by chasing profits that you forget to make sure you’re following all applicable laws. Cutting corners can lead to serious fees and penalties, which could then cut deeply into your bottom line. As you develop your 2019 business plan, double check that it complies with all new and existing regulations. Here are a few updates you should watch out for.
For financial services…
With the 2018 mid-term elections behind us, we can expect to see the Democratically-controlled House Financial Services Committee to broadly focus its legislative agenda toward preserving financial sector stability, encouraging innovation in financial technology, and protecting both consumers and investors. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA), which passed in 2018, begins to take effect this year although two provisions went immediately into effect: the increase in the small bank holding company policy statement threshold and the expanded examination cycle threshold. Changes were also made to the Volcker Rule, freeing most institutions with total assets of less than $10 billion from its constraints. Research all EGRRCPA provisions if you work in financial industries such as:
- Investment management
President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) made several significant changes to the structure of the federal tax law. Changes began to take effect last year in 2018, but there are new regulations that apply to both businesses and individuals.
One significant change is the “revenue recognition standard”; private companies’ annual statements must comply with this new mandate in 2019. This change requires companies to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the payment that it expects to be entitled to in exchange for the goods or services. This change is expected to have a big impact on entities such as:
- Asset managers
- Telecommunication providers
- Media companies
- Software companies
- Construction companies
For fleet management…
If your business is involved in a transportation ecosystem, chances are that you use some sort of GPS vehicle tracking to manage your fleet. Fleet management solutions help reduce costs, ensure you stay on schedule, and help you make data-informed business decisions. As per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Part 395.15, devices that keep driver logs are referred to as an AOBRD (Automatic On-board Recording Device). Legislation passed in December, 2017 makes ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) the new mandatory standard, but gave companies until December 2019 to make the conversion from the older AOBRD to the newer ELD, which offers many more tracking capabilities.
If you still have an AOBRD onboard your fleet, be sure to make the switch by the end of this year. Industries this may apply to include:
- Asphalt and paving
- Aggregate mining
- Private fleet
Regardless of what industry your business is in, if you have hired employees, you need to know the 2019 changes made to labor laws. (Note: Most of the employment ordinances passed in 2018 but become enforceable on January 1, 2019.)
One of the biggest changes that will affect workforces is predictive scheduling. Employers will be required to post the schedule in advance, usually between seven to 14 business days before the first shift is scheduled. Additionally, extra pay is given to employees if an employer changes the schedule after it’s already been posted. Failure to adhere to this requirement could cost businesses a lot of money, as minimum wage also increases in 2019.
As the year unfolds, businesses can expect to see the 2019 regulations and market trends affect the economy in various ways. On the one hand, you’ll see commercial real estate increase its hot streak this year, providing a number of new investment opportunities. Alternatively, the car insurance industry is expected to take a big hit in 2019, affecting companies all over the globe.
If you own a business, make sure you adapt accordingly and try to work new mandates to your advantage. Check back in with us for an up-to-date report on how new 2019 legislation has affected the economy later in the year.