Small business owners must handle or deal with a lot in the beginning. In addition to running your business, you likely have to worry about taxes, compliance, and insurance. While it’s impossible to cover every legal consideration in this article, 10 of the most important ones to consider.
1. Keep Accurate Records
It’s essential to keep track of everything related to your business, from income and expenses to assets and liabilities. This helps you make better decisions and protect yourself in a legal dispute.
2. Choose The Proper Business Structure
You can choose from several structures, each with its advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to decide which design is best for your business and file the appropriate paperwork with the state.
3. Register Your Business Name
To use a business name outside of your home state, you’ll need to register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This process can be relatively simple or quite complex, depending on your name.
4. Get The Proper Licenses And Permits
You may be required to have various licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments, depending on your business. Failure in doing so may lead to hefty fines or even imprisonment.
5. Comply With Tax Laws
One of the most important things you need to do as a small business owner is to comply with tax laws. This includes paying your taxes on time and filing all required paperwork. Ignoring your tax obligations can result in significant penalties and interest charges.
6. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Register your trademarks and copyrights with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect your intellectual property. This may be a complex process, but it’s needed to prevent others from infringing on your rights.
7. Manage Employee Relations
Employee relations can be a tricky area for small businesses. It’s essential to create a policy manual that outlines your expectations for employees and enforces them consistently. You’ll also need to comply with federal and state wage and hour laws.
8. Insurance Coverage
You must have adequate insurance coverage as a small business owner. This includes general liability insurance, product liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
9. Protect Your Computer Systems
Your computer systems are likely critical to the operation of your business. It’s essential to take steps to protect them from hackers and other online threats.
10. Estate Planning
It’s crucial to have an estate plan as a small business owner. This will help ensure that your business is taken care of in the event of your death or incapacitation.
While there are still more things, this list is a good starting point for small business owners looking to protect themselves legally. Taking these measures can ensure that your business operates on the right side of the law.