First, these antitrust rules for small businesses prevent entrepreneurs from fixing prices with their competitors or taking illegal steps to lower product prices through price discrimination. In addition, formal discussions with competitors about supplier boycotts are also illegal. To prepare for the launch and ensure smooth operations, you can download the interactive checklist below to identify legal requirements that you may have overlooked. Use each step to think about your industry, location, employees, and anything else that might dictate your company`s regulations. Originally designed to protect business owners from certain business-related liabilities, the LLC structure has since become popular with freelancers because of its simplicity and the strong legal protection of a business that protects your personal assets. Think of it as the next step in a sole proprietorship. The main reason is to ensure that all companies pay their fair share of money to support the operations of government agencies. Your small business needs a name that your local government and state can use to track your actions. Unless you are a sole proprietor operating under your own name, you will need to register a fictitious business name (FBN) or a Doing Business As (DBA). The selected name will be registered with the county, and then you will work under that name and file taxes. If you are a California resident, you are required by law to file a DBA if you operate in a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation that operates under a different name (other than the one listed in the entity).
Record your business finances separately from your own. This not only ensures that you keep your records properly, but also reduces your personal liability in the event of an audit. To open a business bank account, you will need an EIN number and incorporation documents proving your ownership. A “doing business as” (DBA) is often referred to as a “trade name” or “assumed name”. Typically, you will need to register a DBA if your company uses a name other than the official legal name. Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not need a DTA if they are doing business on behalf of the owners. LLCs and companies do not need a DBA if they use the official company name. It is possible for several companies in the same state to use the same DBA name. Depending on your state and the nature of your business, you may need to file your DBA with the state or location.
These rights include the ability to make decisions themselves, the right to refuse any service, the right not to limit their capital investment, and the right to make changes to the company`s strategy or process. Startups regularly make the mistake of “not hiring a lawyer before they need one” when they are in the business planning process. By then, it is already too late and the company is in danger. Simply put, the relatively low upfront costs are worth avoiding the much higher price of going to court (or a hefty fine). Labor laws and other employment-related trade laws and regulations are also crucial for small businesses. The Fair Labour Standards Act defines how contractors must treat employees by establishing minimum wage and overtime guidelines. However, minimum wage requirements can also vary from state to state. Therefore, overtime pay must be at least one and a half times higher than the standard wage rate.
Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, covers claims arising from the professional negligence of a commercial employee. If you`re not sure which regulations to follow, contact your local chamber of commerce or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Some of these regulations could relate to health and safety or be more specific environmental standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now that you`ve worked on the legal aspects of starting your business, it`s time to spread the word. Many small businesses and independent entrepreneurs choose to market themselves by creating a website or increasing their social media presence. First, start by figuring out who your target market is and how to reach them. Next, think about your budget – can you afford to attend conferences to network with colleagues, or do you need more cost-effective options? For many independent contractors, a website is the gold standard, allowing the business or independent contractor to showcase their bigoriaphy, core competitions, and thought leadership. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook can also be great vehicles for building your personal brand. These are all low-cost, long-range options, but make sure they fit the marketing budget you`ve identified for your business.
The two crucial factors in knowing which regulations apply to you are the structure of your business and the industry in which you operate. In the case of a corporation, owners` liability for business obligations is limited to the amount they have invested in the business – business creditors cannot search for their personal assets. Companies have a well-defined organizational structure that includes a board of directors, officers and owners called shareholders. A corporation may pay corporate income tax as a C-Corp, or it may qualify for intermediate tax as an S-Corp. Small business laws are the federal regulations that govern your state, and if you`re considering becoming a business owner, you need to know about them. U.S. citizens do not vote directly on government regulations in most cases. With the exception of sole proprietorships, which allow you to operate under your legal name, each business entity needs its own unique name, which you file with the state. Once you know your company name is available, register and formalize it: intellectual property is the bread and butter of many companies.
IP also includes patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. Make sure you file all patents as soon as possible – a process that can take more than five years. Protecting your intellectual property will be attractive to investors, but it will also help you sleep better at night. Having the exclusive rights to reproduce and display your work will make your life much, much easier and ensure that no one tries to tear IP mats under your feet. While specific regulations may vary, employers are generally allowed to monitor employee activities with surveillance cameras in the workplace. However, this monitoring must be disclosed to employees. Many companies rely on an insurance broker to determine the appropriate “coverages” (and coverage amounts) for their situation, such as these common types: It`s never a good idea not to comply with official government regulations. This can be very expensive and could even lead you to permanently close your business in the most extreme scenarios. Depending on your industry and the size of your business, you may need to obtain certain permits and licences and renew them regularly. If you do not comply with these regulations, you may be operating your business illegally.
For more information on small business law, visit our website or speak to one of our informative lawyers today. Like any other business, independent contractors must obtain the appropriate permits and licenses. Depending on your industry and where your business is located, you may need to obtain a license at the federal, state, or local level. Federal licenses are required for companies involved in activities of any kind that are supervised and regulated by a federal agency. State licenses and permits vary by location. In addition, small business owners also have to pay state and local taxes, as well as federal taxes. These state and local taxes may include: Licensing requirements or mandatory registrations are designed to help your business thrive wherever it operates. Each state regulates small business creation differently, and requirements may change if you plan to do business across state borders. For more information on applicable environmental regulations, visit the EPA website.
In addition, business owners classify some employees as exempt, while others are not. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) processes trademark applications at the federal level. The cost of branding your business name averages $300 and varies by state.
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