The definitions in this section apply through this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Industry" means all of the businesses in this state in any one four-digit standard industrial classification as published by the United States department of commerce, or the North American industry classification system as published by the executive office of the president and the office of management and budget. However, if the use of a four-digit standard industrial classification or North American industry classification system would result in the release of data that would violate state confidentiality laws, "industry" means all businesses in a three-digit standard industrial classification or the North American industry classification system.
(2) "Minor cost" means a cost per business that is less than three-tenths of one percent of annual revenue or income, or one hundred dollars, whichever is greater, or one percent of annual payroll. However, for the rules of the department of social and health services "minor cost" means cost per business that is less than fifty dollars of annual cost per client or other appropriate unit of service.
(3) "Small business" means any business entity, including a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, that is owned and operated independently from all other businesses, and that has fifty or fewer employees.
(4) "Small business economic impact statement" means a statement meeting the requirements of RCW 19.85.040
prepared by a state agency pursuant to RCW 19.85.030
Findings—2007 c 239: "The legislature finds that:
(1) A vibrant and growing small business sector is critical to creating jobs in a dynamic economy;
(2) Small businesses bear a disproportionate share of regulatory costs and burdens;
(3) Fundamental changes that are needed in the regulatory and enforcement culture of state agencies to make them more responsive to small business can be made without compromising the statutory missions of the agencies;
(4) When adopting rules to protect the health, safety, and economic welfare of Washington, state agencies should seek to achieve statutory goals as effectively and efficiently as possible without imposing unnecessary burdens on small employers;
(5) Uniform regulatory and reporting requirements can impose unnecessary and disproportionately burdensome demands including legal, accounting, and consulting costs upon small businesses with limited resources;
(6) The failure to recognize differences in the scale and resources of regulated businesses can adversely affect competition in the marketplace, discourage innovation, and restrict improvements in productivity;
(7) Unnecessary regulations create entry barriers in many industries and discourage potential entrepreneurs from introducing beneficial products and processes;
(8) The practice of treating all regulated businesses the same leads to inefficient use of regulatory agency resources, enforcement problems, and, in some cases, to actions inconsistent with the legislative intent of health, safety, environmental, and economic welfare legislation;
(9) Alternative regulatory approaches which do not conflict with the state objective of applicable statutes may be available to minimize the significant economic impact of rules on small businesses; and
(10) The process by which state rules are developed and adopted should be reformed to require agencies to solicit the ideas and comments of small businesses, to examine the impact of proposed and existing rules on such businesses, and to review the continued need for existing rules." [ 2007 c 239 § 1