Running a business is a rather multifaceted role. As well as all of the entrepreneurial, administrative, interpersonal, and financial know-how needed by top business leaders, there also needs to be a solid understanding of the law. Certain areas of legality are particularly important to business leaders. This article is a quick guide to the areas that should be of special interest. Consult your lawyer if you want more information or advice on how to hire a specialized legal advisor.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 – often shortened to ERISA – is legislation passed federally to ensure that minimum standards are kept by companies that offer voluntary healthcare and retirement plans to their employees. In the USA, these plans are extremely important as there is often very little state assistance for individuals left without healthcare or retirement funds. Ensuring that your employees are being looked after according to the ERISA standards is an important way of retaining the best people on your team. Employing an ERISA law group or specialized pension lawyers to look over your contracts is a good idea if you want to keep your employees happy. If a dispute is raised, then you will need a specialized lawyer on your side.
Business licensing is essential, but it can get a little complex. Not only do different kinds of businesses need different kinds of licenses, but each state and city has different licensing laws. If you are a small business owner, check out this national database of resources. If you are involved with a larger business that is planning on growing or changing operations, then you need to seek legal counsel before jumping in and applying for any old permit. Some cities seek to encourage businesses to move in by relaxing their licensing laws.
Worker’s compensation laws are in place to ensure that employees receive fair compensation if they are hurt or suffer illness as a result of their jobs. This is very important as it ensures that companies try to create safe working conditions to the best of their ability. If you do not offer worker’s compensation and pay it fairly, then you could find yourself embroiled in a long and costly legal case brought against you by an injured employee or their union. Avoid legal cases at all costs.
It goes without saying that a business needs to pay taxes if it wishes to operate above the law. Taxation law is complicated. Businesses need to pay several kinds of federal tax and state-level tax in order to stay on the IRS’s good side. All businesses should have access to a dedicated taxation lawyer to make sure that they are not paying too little or too much to the government. In the USA, business taxation is a highly political issue. As a business leader, stay out of the arguments in your official capacity and concentrate on meeting the current taxation demands.