Regardless of which candidate’s viewpoint on small businesses you prefer, one will be elected, and changes will result. The transportation industry is plagued by policies and regulations doled out by Washington, and changes in red tape always mean extra work for business owners. The good news is that those changes won’t come overnight. A former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official, Annette Sandberg recently shared her observations regarding these election-year benefits in Fleet Owner. The following specific issues were addressed.
Lags in Legislation
First, the incumbent is typically wary of making changes that would be seen as negative during campaign months, never mind that they’re often too busy on the campaign trail to worry about too much new legislation. This scenario at least delays any new regulations from coming through. If a new president takes office, he will take time to form a new cabinet, causing further delay. These realities can actually make an election year quite stable, compared to other years in the highly regulated transportation industry.
Two highly anticipated regulations for the transportation industry include requirements of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) and the Highway Reauthorization Bill. Sandberg’s guess is that EOBRs won’t be required for at least 5 years, while the reauthorization bill will probably be tabled for at least 1 or 2 years.
Of the many changes that will come with the change in national leadership, business finances are definitely near the top of the list. The first debate between Obama and Romney made this fact clear: Their taxation viewpoints are vastly different from one another’s, especially when it comes to small businesses. This situation poses an unpredictable future, which leaves entrepreneurs in a lurch regarding major business decisions such as purchasing a transportation business. This kind of lag in buying can be ideal for those considering a merger or acquisition. As demand is low, prices tend to lower as well, creating an ideal market in which to buy.
Among the many election-year issues up for grabs, employer roles in employee retirement options and adjustment of the federal business tax rates are two that can strongly impact small- to medium-sized transportation businesses. Whoever is elected, and however his policies directly impact your business, you don’t want to wait until those changes occur to consider possible scenarios. Whether you’re considering putting your transportation business for sale or making a major reinvestment, you’ll want to evaluate how those changes would play out in case of various changes.
No matter what changes do or do not occur, business value will always be dependent on earnings, assets, and individual buyers. Regardless of the economic climate, the same tactics can be used to maximize value and increase your sale price, and transportation industry specialists at a reputable transportation business broker can help you achieve those goals.
Photo credits: Top © David Touchtone / Fotolia. Middle © Geza Farkas / Fotolia. Bottom © Arvydas Kniukšta / Fotolia.