Working to Ensure Regulatory Fairness for Small Businesses in America

Many businesses who feel penalized by federal agencies aren’t aware that they have an advocate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of the National Ombudsman.


If your business is facing unfair or excessive federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats or retaliation, help may be available.

Congress established the Office of the National Ombudsman in 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). The Act ensures that businesses, small government entities, and small nonprofit organizations that experience unfair regulatory enforcement actions by federal agencies have a means to comment about such actions.

As an impartial liaison, The Office of the National Ombudsman directs reported regulatory fairness matters to the appropriate agency for review, and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens, and help small businesses succeed.

When the National Ombudsman can help

  • If you’re a small business or represent one, a non-profit organization, or a small government entity (population 50,000 or less), and
  • If your comment or complaint directly involves a federal agency and federal regulation.

How to File a Complaint

Information on how to file a comment or complaint with the National Ombudsman’s Office can be found here. Keep in mind, however, that this process is not a substitute for any other action you may take regarding specific federal enforcement activity, so you should continue to pursue all legal and administrative remedies you believe are in your company’s best interest.

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