ADA Small Business Compliance: What You Need to Know

Small business owners who supply goods or services to the public must adhere to federal guidelines on discrimination against the disabled, which are commonly referred to as the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. This can be rather intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with ADA. To help you out, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article on this subject. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we break down everything you need to know about ADA compliance for small businesses.

Who Does It Apply To?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, covers a wide range of public businesses, including state and local governments as well as private businesses. The ADA applies to the federal government as well. Regardless of the size of the business, if it has goods or services for sale to the public, it must be ADA compliant. There are 12 categories listed, including public transportation and public accommodations, which cover just about every kind of business imaginable. Basically, if you cater to the public then you have to comply with ADA.

What Do You Have to Do for ADA Compliance?

Business owners should consider hiring people with disabilities. It is good for the business because there is a tax credit when you hire a disabled employee. Also, employment opportunities for the disabled are overlooked often. Keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure the removal of barriers to full participation for people with disabilities in their job duties.  A reasonable accommodation is a change that allows somebody with a disability who can do the job well and enjoys the work to engage in the hiring process or do the job. Reasonable accommodations do not cause undue hardship for the company. Additionally, you must also include proper safety requirements in place for the safe operation of your selling space or other public areas. However, these must be updated to include people with disabilities.

The ADA released the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design to guide public entities in making their facilities accessible. Many businesses have limited resources, and architectural changes may not be feasible for buildings that have already been built. However, there are many low-cost strategies available to help small businesses make their facilities accessible. If you have funding constraints, you can contact the ADA National Network.

In short, accessible design is about removing physical barriers and creating easier navigation options for disabled people trying to get inside your business. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires businesses to provide accessible parking spaces and an accessible entrance route to the main building. In addition, businesses need to provide an accessible bathroom facility. Signs are required to help people with disabilities navigate through buildings – whether they are making their way towards restrooms, or are trying to find out if a business is open. Refer to the links provided within this article for additional information.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to furthering your understanding of ADA compliance. While it may seem like a lot to take in all at once, this article should give you good foundational knowledge. Be sure to keep everything that you learned here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions regarding ADA compliance for your business.

Do you want to assess the ADA compliance of your business but don’t know where to get started? Then, we at All Things Inspector may be able to help! Our inspection tools will help you quickly spot non-compliances so that you can make the necessary changes. Browse our ADA templates today!

Keep reading

Related Article

ADA Inspection Tool Kit for small businesses 1

ADA Inspection Tool Kit for small businesses

Accessibility is a legal requirement and an important aspect of creating inclusive and welcoming environments for all individuals. For small businesses, ensuring compliance with the

Training Resources for ADA Inspection Tools 1

Training Resources for ADA Inspection Tools

Ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is important for businesses and organizations looking for accessibility. One major aspect of ADA compliance is