Laws Every Small Business Owner Needs to Be Aware Of
You don’t need to go to law school to run a business,but it is a good idea to read up on the laws that are relevant to your industry. For example, if you are a building contractor there will be building and health and safety regulations that you have to adhere to. A good way to find out about any legislation that pertains to your company is by getting in touch with associations that are related to your area of business. Laws are constantly changing so even if you are well informed, it is best to keep up to date with the latest rules to ensure your business and employees are operating within them.
It is also a good idea to visit the business development office in your city, as they will be able to let you know about any local laws that could affect your business. This is worth doing, whatever your line of business.
Legislation varies from location to location and depends on the industry you work in, but here is a general guide to some laws that most companies need to be aware of.
Laws about Advertising
All of your advertising needs to be honest, and you should be careful not to mislead your customers. Exact legislation varies depending on whether you use ads on the internet, post billboards, or advertise on TV so make sure you have a good understanding of consumer protection and marketing laws. Checking before you launch an ad or a product could save you a lot of embarrassment and even prevent a law suit, so be vigilant.
Online Business Legislation
Whether you do all or just some of your business online, it is important that your firm complies with any relevant laws. These include but are not limited to privacy, tax, and copyright laws.
Labor and Employment Laws
If you have employees then it is important to ensure that the contracts you provide them with are legal and that their working conditions are in line with legislation on benefits, health care, pay, health and safety and anything else relevant to their job. Contracts should be easy to understand and properly drafted to ensure clarity and protect both you and your staff.
Foreign Workers and Employee Entitlement
It is important that you carry out all necessary checks on all your workers before they are put on the payroll. Ensure that they have the relevant paperwork and the right to work in your country. Carry out background checks to ensure the safety of both your customers and other employees. If in doubt, check and double check.
Personal information can be very sensitive. No one wants their private information to get into the wrong hands, and your customers, clients and staff will want to know that any personal information you have of theirs is safe. Familiarizing yourself on the latest privacy laws relevant to your industry will ensure that you handle their information professionally and legally.
To avoid law suits and hefty fines, it is important that you are familiar with the laws that affect your business. Do your research before making any changes to your company and consult a lawyer to help draft contracts. Being well informed and attentive will help you maintain your company’s reputation and avoid litigation.