5 Laws Every Business Owner Needs to Master
All business owners understand there are specific laws that apply to operation. While some laws are specific to one particular industry or another, there are several other laws that apply generally to all establishments. Managing a business is not always about cash flow and increased sales, but how the employees and the customers are treated and protected as well. Advertising is also another aspect of management that requires expertise, especially with respect to protecting the company intellectual property used in brand identification and services provided. Standing out among the competition is essential, and not having the company infringed upon is equally vital. Here is a discussion of some general rules and regulations to follow.
Premises Liability Laws
Retail store managers know the potential for an injury to a customer or employee is always present when shoppers are in or around the store. Although most are aware of trip hazards and keeping the sales floor tidy, they do not all understand that the parking lot and sidewalks can be trouble spots as well. It’s in a business owner’s best interest to maintain the paving outside their business. This can hold true for structure and facility owners also when they have agreed to maintain the exterior of a business. It is always essential to maintain adequate general business liability insurance protection because of potential personal injury issues.
Just like you pay taxes as an individual, your business must pay taxes as well. There are several types you need to be aware of: federal, state, and local, as well as any taxes specific to your specific type of business. These include income tax, sales tax, property tax, excise tax, payroll tax, and franchise tax. Whether you’re a sole proprietor, corporation, or LLC also makes a difference in what kind of taxes you will need to pay and how much. It can be helpful to get help from a professional tax preparer for at least your first time around to make sure you file everything correctly and take advantage of all the credits that you qualify for.
Depending on the size of any business, there are distinct laws that apply to certain aspects within daily operations. Understanding income tax requirements is one of the most important of all operational laws, including federal, state, and local tax obligations. It is also important to remember that practically all businesses are subject to compliance with discrimination laws regarding hiring, which can be sourced at the official EEOC government website. Finally, pay attention to workers compensation. Workers compensation law states that all employees who are injured while on the job are entitled to receive two-thirds of their weekly income.
Patent Protection Laws
Many businesses have copyrights for tools they use in producing their wares, especially in the digital marketplace. The cyber business community is actually where much of current industry growth is occurring across all sectors of the economy, including many service industry startups who own the software they use in delivering their product. Even machinery design can be a central intellectual property protection concern for manufacturing businesses of any type who rely on their unique machinery to stay ahead in the market. If someone stole a design, concept, or other idea, it could cause significant losses. If a startup has their concept stolen, even if they have a patent for it, they might not have the legal support of funds to properly protect it. Depending on the patent claim, even borrowing ideas or being inspired by another product could lead to legal muddy waters.
Trademark Protection Laws
Another critical item of company intellectual property concern is any advertising trademarks used in any marketing application. Many competitors will design a trademark similar to a leading brand in a particular niche using a varied distinctive mark that mimics a company logo. Small things can matter, as trademarks are specifically defined by their distinguishing marks, and understanding the trademark uniqueness can be essential for maintaining market share.
Errors and Omissions Insurance Laws
While this type of insurance may not be necessary for some businesses, it is a necessity for any service business that generates income on advice and industry assessment. All businesses are in the cash flow business to an extent, and any operation dealing in large financial amounts should be prepared for potential legal complications.
Managing businesses is always a work in progress, and understanding how laws impact your business is a fluid process in many instances. Solid management practices always include knowing what rules and regulations will apply, and especially how severely a violation or legal action from a business client can impact the company growth outlook.