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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Legal Side Of Your Business: What You Need To Know

 

If you want to set up a business, you must understand all of the laws and regulations that your business must abide by, as well as any other requirements your business is committed to making. Being informed will ensure that you can avoid incurring fines and criminal charges against your business as it begins to grow, as well as check that your premises and employees are safe.

 

How do you sign legal documents?

If you need to enter into an agreement with a client, such as through the signing of a contract, you may need a notary service who can witness the signature and ensure that it is legally binding. By hiring mobile notary companies such as Superior Notary Services, you can be sure that all of your contracts are official without needing to take time away from your office to get these procedures overseen.

 

What licenses and insurance do you need?

When you are starting up your business, you need to check whether the services that you offer fall under one of the federally regulated industries. These include sectors such as agriculture, transportation, and aviation. If so, you will have to apply for a license to permit your business to operate legally without any issues. However, in many other cases, you will have to apply for a state license, which is, unsurprisingly, dependent on the restrictions and requirements of the state where you plan to set up your business.  

The different types of insurance that are available can be overwhelming for small business owners. However, every business must have general liability insurance to cover them in the event that there is an accident on their premises. You should also consider investing in property insurance if you own physical premises that may be at risk from damage.

 

How do you choose a business structure?

You also need to choose your business structure, which includes sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and corporations. While sole proprietorship will give you full responsibility for your business and mean you have to pay self-employment taxes, LLCs give business owners a smaller amount of liability, and designation as a corporation means responsibility is taken away from the business owner and the company is taxed separately. To register a business structure, you need to give your company a name, file your articles of organization, and settle an operating agreement.

 

What tax laws do you need to abide by?

One of the first actions that you need to take as a business owner is to set your business up for tax purposes. You can do this by registering for an employer identification number in order to pay your federal and state taxes. You will need to pay income tax, as well as payroll taxes, capital gains, and property tax.

 

What actions should you take as an employer?

As an employer, you are responsible for your employees’ welfare, and this means that you are liable to pay worker’s compensation, which covers the costs of any injuries on site. You also need to check that your agreement complies with the minimum wage and maximum working hours, as well as other rules that fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Finally, you are legally obligated to create a safe environment for your staff, to check your employees’ right to work, and to give fair opportunities.

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