Business Politics

National Federation of Ind Business

National Federation of Independent Business

The National Federation of Independent Business or NFIB is a leading lobbying organization that was created to provide small and independent businesses a voice in the legislation. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has a membership base of more than 600,000. They have a public policy headquarters in Washington, D.C., administrative headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee and legislative offices in 50 state capitals. Fortune magazine has recognized the National Federation of Independent Business as the top-ranking business lobbying organization in Washington, D.C.

The organization follows certain regulations that are different from other traditional lobbying groups where they have a steering committee or a board of directors to define their policies. The organization uses balloting of its membership in establishing their policies. Ballots are counted five times in a year for federal issues; for state issues, ballots are counted once a year. The voted policies then become the position NFIB lobbyists stand for in state legislatures and in Congress. Additionally, NFIB also follows a procedure where they set a maximum contribution of dues so as to avoid any influence by any member or group of members in the organization.

What they represent

NFIB represents small and independent businesses and has a membership of 600,000 business owners with operations ranging from sole proprietorship businesses to companies with hundreds of employees. These business owners include manufacturers, farmers, service providers, and retailers. On average, the NFIB member employs five people and reports gross sales of around $350,000 annually.


NFIB was created by Wilson Harder in 1943 when he resigned from his job at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and started holding office at his home, selling the first memberships to his neighbors. His vision was to provide small and independent businesses a voice in government legislation through public policy. He created a Mandate Ballot, sent it to the members regularly and gathered the members’ views on issues and concerns that impacted their businesses. After that, he relayed the stance of the members to Congress. In the early 80’s, the NFIB Foundation was created. In 1987, the Guardian Advisory Councils was created to encourage its members to get involved. In 1992, its headquarters was moved from San Mateo, California to Nashville, Tennessee.

Major issues

NFIB continues to promote its advocacy in a broad spectrum of national issues including:

• Healthcare, such as market-based pooling and medical-liability reform;
• Competition, including its advocacy to stop government contract bundling and to support the Motor Vehicle Repair Act;
• Immigration, such as its supporting a workable employer verification system and opposing amnesty for undocumented workers;
• Government and regulatory reform such as regulatory burden reduction and paper reduction;
• Tax Relief, such as the eradication of death tax and simplifying the tax code for small business;
• Labor Issues, including efforts to increase the federal minimum wage and eradicate the Federal Unemployment Tax;
• Technology Issues, including cyber security and universal service fund;
• Legal Reform, including limiting frivolous lawsuits; and
• Social Security Reform, advocating against Social Security payroll tax increase.