Keeping in line with the law is not the most exciting aspect of launching a start-up but is probably one of the most essential. If you fall foul of the law you could find your promising new enterprise being shut down before it has a chance to break even. If you just happen to be studying business law in college then you will not little help with this but most young entrepreneurs need some legal guidance.
Following this 5 step easy guide will keep you out of trouble with the authorities and on the right track to a successful enterprise.
Have you worked out if you need a business license? You can find out by calling your local city government and explaining your plans for your enterprise. There is plenty of information available on federal and state licenses and permits online and the earlier you check it out the better. The exact type of license required will depend on where you are operating your business and what you are selling.
Are you planning on doing all the work yourself or will there be times when you are so tied up with exams and assignments (or even a vacation) that you will need some help. The main law that you need to be aware of is the Fair Labor Standards Act which governs things like the legal federal minimum wage, some overtime rules, and record keeping requirements. Remember if you need to get rid of sensitive and personal documents they need to be handed over to a document destruction company and not simply put out with the trash.
Health and safety laws
You are responsible for safeguarding your own health and safety and that of others who may be injured in any way by your business. In addition to this, there may be special laws that are relevant to your business such as food safety regulations or dangerous substances regulations. It is too late after someone has been hurt! Find out your responsibilities early on.
These may be unpopular but they are an integral part of running a business. You need to know about tax laws in order to determine whether you are paying too much or too little tax. Tax laws can be complicated and cover federal tax, federal unemployment tax requirements, social security and Medicare so you may want to buy in some specialist tax advice.
Advertising and marketing laws
This may be the one aspect of your business that you thought was free of regulation but that is very far from the case. The basis of advertising law is that you must be truthful. Never make any false claims about a product or a service because you are sure to be found out one day and that could cost you your business. Ensure that you have the proof to back up everything you say and be especially careful when you are marketing to children.