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Philadelphia’s 58-step path to business ownership

Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider breezed through the government approval process in 1967 when he built the Spectrum for his new sports franchise. He once said all of the legal paperwork fit inside two small binders.

Snider faced much different conditions when he built the Wells Fargo Center on the same lot 30 years later. His partners filled a long conference table with regulatory documents piled so high attorneys barely could see each other over the top.

“When I was young, the government wasn’t in our lives, hardly at all,” Snider told students at the University of Maryland in 2015, shortly before his death at age 83.

Modern regulations create challenges even for established business leaders. For first-time entrepreneurs without access to lawyers or compliance officers, the hurdles can be insurmountable.

“Barriers to Business,” a new report from the Institute for Justice, shows just how complex the startup…

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