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This article was published on December 23, 2016

How the sharing economy will shift in the next 5 years

How the sharing economy will shift in the next 5 years
Scott Gerber
Story by

Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

From Uber’s battle surrounding 1099s to Airbnb’s reports of security concerns, sharing economy companies are both finding their niche and dealing with growing pains.

While these companies are here to stay, new rules surrounding how they operate are already changing the way they operate.

To learn where these companies and rules are headed, I polled 15 entrepreneurs from YEC on the following.

How do you think rules or regulations surrounding the sharing economy will play out in the next five years? And how will that affect companies like Uber and Airbnb?

Their best answers are below:

1. More Employee Protections 

matt-doyleThese businesses operate in what feels like a sort of gray area with regards to employees (more relevant to Uber than ABnB). I think we all knew that there were going to be adjustment periods and time to try new things, but labor boards don’t seem pleased about what’s happening, and governments are starting to talk about it. I think new laws are probably going to be in place soon. – Matt DoyleExcel Builders

2. Increase in Health and Safety Regulations 

james-mcdonoughNo one likes a nanny state, but health and safety to both consumers and employees is critical for the sharing economy to be sustainable. All it takes is a customer not knowing what to do in a fire or getting a disease from poor hygiene and regulators will come in. – James McDonoughSEE Forge

3. It Will Be a Tightrope Walk. 

nicole-munozRules and regulations are in a state of flux around the sharing economy like Uber and Airbnb. It’s become a political hot button, one that places these innovative “apps” against the established businesses who are being disrupted. It will be interesting to see how and if established businesses rise to the occasion to meet and enter the sharing economy in their own business models. – Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

4. More People Will Use These Companies in the Long Run. 

angela-ruthWhile the rules and regulations will take time to establish, in the long run, they will create a standardized process for these companies in the sharing economy and, as such, end up encouraging more people to actually use these services. Many consumers may feel more comfortable after there is some legal framework guiding how these companies operate. – Angela RuthDue

5. Mutual Respect Between Regulators and Tech Companies 

tim-maliyilI strongly dislike corrupt and old industries that take the customer for granted, and regulation protection for such industries can be annoying. However, regulation also leads to safety. Las Vegas fought with Uber to ensure that drivers passed the taxi commission’s background checks to keep drug addicts and violent felons out of Ubers. That’s good regulation in my opinion, and now we can Uber in Vegas. – Tim MaliyilAlertBoot

6. Regulation May Kill the Business Model and Shared Economy 

drew-hendricksThe existing attempts at regulation have hurt these companies in some markets already so I don’t see anything positive coming from more regulation that typically only dries up a business and detracts from what they offer. Customers get nervous about why there is so much regulation and just revert back to traditional businesses. It seems like this is what could happen. – Drew HendricksButtercup

7. More Restrictions on Independent Contractors 

david-mainieroThe current regulatory environment, especially with respect to the ACA, has pushed businesses to seek (1099) Independent Contractors rather than full-time employees. More and more states, like Massachusetts, will prohibit the use of Independent Contractors who conduct work within the core business. We saw this happen with Uber in some states, and there’s more to come. – David MainieroInGenius Prep

8. Large Corporations Following Suit 

miles-jenningsIn the next decade, large corporations will begin to see the benefit of getting involved in the sharing economy, and they will begin to make their own versions of the “smaller” startup companies like we see today. Companies such as Enterprise will strive to create their own subset version of Uber’s business model, which will attract those that have been working with larger brands for decades. – Miles

9. Regulations Could Kill Creativity 

blair-thomasRules and regulations have never been effective during the creative process. And let’s be honest, that is what’s happening here. Uber, Airbnb and the like are all going through a phase of growth and creativity, and we likely haven’t seen the most refined version of these services yet, nor will we see them in their purest form if there are rules and regulations in place to stymie creativity. – Blair ThomasFirst American Merchant

10. Rules and Regulation Will Become Simpler and Unified 

piyush-jainAs sharing economy companies grow and billions of people start using them, government and political class will have to come onboard and make these rules and regulation simpler. They will realize that voters and tax payers love the sharing economy, and they will have to simplify the rules to make the sharing economy more accessible. Technology has always simplified rules, and this will follow suit. – Piyush JainSIMpalm

11. A New Regulatory Equilibrium 

vik-patelMany entrepreneurs are anti-regulation because regulation can harm innovative businesses. Unfortunately, innovative businesses can harm employees, customers and communities. Regulators should protect those groups. They’re slow to adapt to new technologies, but as time goes by, an equilibrium will evolve that takes new technologies into account while protecting consumers and workers. – Vik PatelFuture Hosting

12. More Taxes on Businesses 

fan-biUber, Airbnb and other fast-growing sharing economy companies are currently operating without the regulatory scrutiny of established players. One of the major ways is in the way they are taxed. Uber, for instance, will most likely need to switch drivers from 1099 contractors to W2 employees in the next five years, which will include social security tax, unemployment tax, and other payroll related taxes. – Fan BiBlank Label

13. Realistic Laws 

matthew-weinbergI think legislators are going to start adapting laws to account for the reality of these kinds of services, which people clearly want. I think this will benefit Uber, Airbnb, and others; they’ll have less potential regulatory risk if the laws are clear. – Matthew WeinbergVector Media Group

14. Disruptive Technologies Will Be More Regulated 

marcela-devivoThese disruptive economies have thrived in a highly unregulated environment, which will change in five years as the full impact of these technologies is felt by different regulatory agencies. In five years time, these will be seen as part of the establishment, and will be regulated as such. As workforces become more dynamic and user regulated, the government will have to step in. – Marcela De VivoGryffin

15. Sharing Economy Companies Will Find Their Niche 

alexis-levineAirbnb and Uber will be transformative over the next 5 years. Airbnb will mold into a full blow hospitality company and legitimize itself on an international level, working with different countries’ regulators to become a legal competitor globally. Uber will adjust itself depending on the country (i.e. in Spain, Uber is a food delivery service) and serve different roles depending on rulings. – Alexis LevineSavvy Media 

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