- Posted on: Jul 13 2022
By: Carolyn Williams [7/14/22]
Navigating the laws of what a business will need to comply with is not an easy task for anyone considering opening and/or running a business. There are several laws that business owners will need to be mindful of when forming a business, such as the following:
One of the most important laws that a business owner must comply with is finding out what types of licenses and permits are required for their business. Licenses and permits may be required on a federal level, state level, and/or local level. It is up to the business owner to research their own state and local regulations to determine if a license or permit is required for their business activity.
Business owners who choose to hire employees will also need to familiarize themselves with several employment laws. Some of these laws will include:
1. Fair Labor Standards Act – which regulates the requirement for minimum wage, overtime, child labor regulations, etc. (Employers should also contact their state’s Department of Labor regarding federal and state posters that must be posted in the workplace.)
2. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws – which protect employees who belong to protected classes based on their age, color, gender, disability, etc.
3. Family and Medical Leave Act – which addresses situations where an employee may take time to deal with a medical condition of their family members. (Many states have regulations that address these types of concerns as well.)
4. Occupational Safety and Health Act – which addresses measures that must be taken by an employer to ensure that their employees have a safe and healthy work environment.
5. Worker’s Compensation Regulations – Most states have regulations that require employers to obtain insurance for on-the-job injuries or illness that may occur to their employees.
6. Immigration Status Regulations – Employers are required to verify that each employee is eligible to work in the United States.
Business owners should be aware of their tax obligations and requirements. Business owners will be required to obtain an EIN for tax purposes. In addition, business owners who hire employees will be required to pay federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, unemployment insurance, social security, etc. It’s best to hire an accountant to assist you in addressing many of these concerns.
Privacy, Data Protection, and Consumer Protection Laws
There are several privacy, data protection laws, and consumer protection laws that employers may be required to comply with, particularly if they are collecting personal data from customers or even contacting consumers. Some of these laws may include the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Federal Trade Commission Regulations, etc.
Business owners are required to be truthful and not include false and misleading information in their marketing and advertising. There are also laws that deal with product labeling and additional laws that prohibit misleading communications through email and other mediums.
Online business owners need to be aware that they may have to comply with the laws of the state or local municipalities where they are doing business. This requirement may require these business owners to obtain licenses and permits in the jurisdictions within which they operate. Business owners selling goods and services internationally should also familiarize themselves with regulations that may govern their activity while selling goods and services abroad.
Intellectual Property Protection Laws
Business owners who develop new products or ideas may want to consider protecting those products or ideas by filing a patent with the USPTO. Business owners may also protect their name and logo by filing a trademark. If a business owner develops a book or manuscript, they may protect these works by copyrighting their ideas. Business owners may also want to consider including confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants in their contracts, which may help to further protect their ideas.
There are several laws that can affect your business as a business owner. The regulations listed above are not an exhaustive list. The process of determining all the laws that will be applicable to a business can be overwhelming. To avoid running into pitfalls with your business and to promote a healthy business relationship with your customers, employees, etc., it would be best to consult with a good business law attorney who can assist you with determining which laws will be applicable to your business.