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The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 recognized that the size of a business, unit of government, or nonprofit organization frequently affects its ability to comply with Federal rules. The RFA directs agencies to give special attention to the effect of rules on small businesses and other small entities by requiring Federal agencies to:

    Consider alternatives that are less burdensome to small entities;

    Publish in the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda a brief description of any proposed rule likely to have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities;

    Prepare a preliminary Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to accompany a proposed rule, that estimates the potential economic effect upon small entities, unless the head of the agency certifies in the Federal Register that the proposed rule "will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities;" and

    Prepare a final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to accompany the final rule, that responds to issues raised by public comments on the proposed rule and on the preliminary Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.