When starting a new venture, understanding the related business laws and regulations can make or break your success. This article covers the basics of business law for an entrepreneur.
Are you ready to turn your business idea into reality? As you know, there is a lot of preparation that goes into starting a business. Creating a business plan and getting funding are common items of a startup to-do list. One thing you should add to that list is the time to review common business laws that may affect your business.
Business law for entrepreneurs covers the unique business and legal issues of startups and small businesses.
As a small business owner, you should have a general understanding of the legal aspects of running a business.
What is Business Law?
Business law is the law that sets out what happens to commercial matters, and there are two main types: regulation of commercial entities and regulation of commercial transactions. Laws have evolved over the centuries, and have had to adapt to changes in technology and society.
Here are some of the top laws concerning entrepreneur
1. Advertising and marketing laws
As it seems, this law requires all advertisements or marketing efforts to be true. Also, if you make a claim during an advertisement, you must have proof to back it up. You can never be misleading or inappropriate. This rule becomes even more specific when you market to children or use endorsement.
2. Know the taxes you have to pay
Whether you have one or 100 employees in your business, Uncle Sam says you have to pay some taxes. Take some time to review federal tax, social security, Medicare, and federal unemployment tax requirements.
The IRS has a breakdown of your tax responsibilities as an owner. You want to talk to an accountant about these obligations and find out a budget.
3. Fair Labor Standards Act
The act governs federal minimum wages, overtime regulations, child labor restrictions, and records requirements. You want to make sure that you follow the current rules.
4. Business licenses
To start a business legally, you will need a business license. Start by calling your local city government. See if you need a license, and if you need to know about any zoning rules.
For federal and state licenses, see the Small Business Administration website, and follow the links that apply to your business.
5. Intellectual property
If you develop a new product, you want to protect it with a patent. You can also protect your business name, symbols and logo by applying for a trademark. You can learn more about the process through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
To protect books, films, digital works and musical pieces, you want to copyright your work. The United States Copyright Office can help you file the correct paperwork.
6. Finance law
Researching business laws can be a tedious task, but it is best to always be informed. While the list above includes a lot of legal grounds, additional laws may be related to your business. To protect yourself, find an experienced lawyer and talk about laws that are specific to your business.
Although we hope you never have to move here, in some cases, new businesses hit financial barriers. If your business is having cash flow problems and is looking for the possibility of bankruptcy, there are several laws that you want to familiarize yourself with before you do the paperwork. The Small Business Association has the resources you need to review.
7. Data security
If your business collects sensitive personal information from its customers, you should have a sound security plan. Apart from keeping data under lock and key, you should only collect the information you need, nothing else. The FTC has a guide to help businesses plan.
8. International sales laws
With a website, any business can sell its products internationally. It immediately opens your business to a new audience, but it comes with risk rules.
It questions about shipping, various taxes and customs duties. The FTC has a guide to help you navigate international waters.
9. Telemarketing Sales Law
If you plan to sell products by mail, phone, or online, you will need to brush up on the FTC rule. Under this rule, businesses must ship products within 30 days, provide a delivery notice if a product is delayed, and refund if the order cannot be filled.
You might also want to look at the rules around Do Not Call.
10. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws
This set of laws prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also includes equal pay for men and women, and protects people with disabilities.