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Regulatory Flexibility Act

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and Impact Statement Guidelines for State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions For Regulations Affecting Small Businesses or Individuals per the Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Acts of 2015

What is New

Beginning January 1, 2016, agencies submitting proposed new or amended regulations that affect small businesses or individuals are required, under the new Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Acts of 2015 (see 80 Del. Laws, c. 112 and 113), to submit a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RFA) and a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) with the proposed regulation to the Registrar of Regulations (see 29 Del.C. Ch. 104). For agencies proposing amendments to existing regulations, the promulgating agency shall only be required to complete the RFA and RIS for the proposed amended portion of the existing regulation, and not for the entire existing regulation.

What is a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RFA)?

In each RFA, an agency must consider, where applicable, lawful, feasible and desirable, specific methods of reducing the burdens of the regulation on individuals and/or small businesses, including:

  1. Establishing less stringent requirements and deadlines;
  2. Establishing performance standards to replace design standards;
  3. Exempting individuals and small businesses from all or part of the regulation; and
  4. Examining other ways to accomplish the regulation's purpose, while minimizing the impact upon individuals and/or small businesses.

What is a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)?

Among other things, each RIS must:

  1. Describe the purpose of the regulation;
  2. Identify the individuals and/or small businesses subject to it;
  3. Provide an estimate of the potential costs of compliance; and
  4. Describe any less intrusive or less costly alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the regulation.

In addition, the Act further enhances transparency by requiring the Registrar of Regulations to transmit regulatory impact statements to the appropriate standing committee of the General Assembly.

For Small Businesses

Citizens, interest groups, and businesses are encouraged to subscribe to receive proposed regulations from agencies by visiting the Subscription Services website and to visit the online Delaware Public Meeting Calendar for notices of agency meetings and regulatory hearings. Proposed regulations are held open for public comment for a minimum of 30 days after a proposal is published in the Register of Regulations.

For State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions

State agencies are encouraged to widely disseminate proposed regulations and any accompanying RFAs and RISs in an effort to reach impacted citizens, interest groups, and small businesses.


The Acts required that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) adopt and publish guidelines to assist state agencies in preparing the statements required by the Acts. The guidelines were prepared by OMB, the Department of State, and the Registrar of Regulations in consultation with the Department of Justice and a variety of regulatory agencies that issue state regulations.

The guidelines are intended to clarify the requirements contained in the Acts as well as provide state agencies with a specific form and general format for preparing and publishing the RFA and RIS. The form is also intended to benefit the small businesses and individuals impacted by proposed regulations by ensuring a reasonable level of consistency in the formatting of RFAs and RISs across different agencies and regulations.

View the final guidelines in the December 2015 Register of Regulations