Right to Repair Legislation – Good for Consumers & Small Business

Jun 7, 2022

Most people have a family member or friend with the mechanical aptitude and problem-solving ability to repair virtually anything. In my life, that individual was RJ Hauser.  RJ, a locksmith by profession, who would buy cars at impoundment auctions, repair them, and sell them for an excellent return on his investment and time as a “side hustle” was always a quick call whenever mechanical trouble developed from a lawnmower to a vehicle.  I still fondly remember an evening spent under my Dodge truck where he taught me how to replace a timing belt and starter after a run to the local NAPA Auto Parts managed by a mutual friend, Shell Sloan.  One of his legacies in my life is an affinity for Mopar trucks.  Unfortunately, RJ left my life prematurely with complications resulting from being delivered into the world with a faulty fluid system as a hemophiliac.  He is deeply missed on multiple levels.

A current debate in the manufacturing world is over the legislative push for Right to Repair laws.  A Right to Repair Law is an effort by government as a result of citizen advocacy (LOVE IT WHEN “WE THE PEOPLE” FORCE CHANGE) to reverse a trend that has been going on for decades where manufacturing companies used proprietary parts installed using company specific equipment employing secret processes not accessible to the public.  This financially rewarding business strategy has dual benefits for manufacturers in it allows them to become a sole source provider of service & repair and also create a planned obsolescence calendar for when they would stop supporting a product. It also prevents individuals and independent repair businesses from working on products.  The following article provides a good overview on the subject:  https://www.howtogeek.com/339925/what-are-%E2%80%9Cright-to-repair%E2%80%9D-laws-and-what-do-they-mean-for-you/. The good news is that government is starting to work to protect consumers at a state level and restore what should be a protected right, the right to repair your property or seek repairs from the party of your selection.  Just last week, New York passed a Right to Repair law through its state legislature for electronic devices (https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/06/ny-passes-right-to-repair-will-require-tech-oems-to-share-tools-diagnostic-info/).  It is my hope that similar to 1984 when New York passed the first seatbelt law (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/1984/07/13/ny-is-first-state-to-get-seat-belt-law/b86fd522-bb32-4286-980a-caefdb3edfa5/) the legislation will be emulated around the nation. I encourage everyone to reach out and support Right to Repair legislation in their own state.  The following are links to advocacy groups working on the issue in Washington ( https://states.repair.org/states/washington/#:~:text=This%20year%2C%20the%20people%20of,personal%20electronic%20devices%2C%20HB%201810), Oregon (https://states.repair.org/states/oregon/), Idaho (https://states.repair.org/states/idaho/), and Alaska (https://states.repair.org/states/alaska/).

IBA, the oldest business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, has been advocating for opportunity and competitive equality for privately held companies and family businesses in the region for almost fifty years.  When main street and middle market companies thrive, the people of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska prosper.  IBA has a long history of successfully transitioning ownership of service and repair businesses in transactions facilitated with knowledge, experience, skill, and superior customer service.  We have sold repair service businesses in the automotive (https://midlandautomotive.net/, https://www.summersautomotive.com/, and https://zscarcare.com/), marine (https://www.seattleyachts.com/service and https://www.kingsalmonsales.com/), medical (http://nwbiomed.com/), computer (http://www.westseattlecomputers.com/), home appliance (https://www.washingtongenerators.com/), and many other valued areas serving people and businesses in their communities.

If you are interested in selling a service repair business in the Pacific Northwest or exploring entrepreneurship in this local centric, highly appreciated business niche, the members of IBA’s transaction team are cognizant of the market values, deal facilitation issues, and SBA loan opportunities for acquisition financing in the sector would welcome the opportunity to provide an overview of our services.  100% of IBA fees are payable upon performance at the completion of a transaction. All conversations with IBA are held in strict confidence.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.