Business law is an expansive niche that governs multiple areas. One of the first things every business owner should do is become familiar with laws pertaining to their industry to ensure they remain in compliance.
In recent years, business law has become more complex; particularly in the areas of privacy, fraud, and Internet marketing. Companies that conduct business online need to pay particular attention laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and international trade laws.
Every business is unique, so it’s wise to consult with a business attorney to guide you through the process. Not only can lawyers ensure your company complies with state and federal laws, they can aid in establishing strategies to protect company assets.
Regardless of the size of business operation, every owner ought to execute a durable power of attorney. This document authorizes a designated agent to perform specific duties in the event owners are unable to do so.
Duties can be as simple as paying bills from the company checking account or more complex such as selling or buying business assets. Without notarized power of attorney forms, companies can be shuttered because no one is authorized to manage business operations.
Owners also ought to engage in business succession planning so they can pass along the company when they retire or die. Business succession is important for all companies, but even more so for family-owned operations and partnerships.
Small business owners that fail to plan accordingly can find their business embroiled in legal battles. As Ben Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This quote is especially true when it comes to business law.
Working with a reputable law firm is advisable whether you need to prepare a contract with a business partner, file for trademark protection, or safeguard the assets of a Fortune 500 company.
The more complex the business model the greater the need for legal council. Companies that employ workers need to abide by employment and labor laws. They must also educate workers about workplace safety regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Furthermore, employees must be aware of immigration reform to ensure they hire personnel with legal status. Owners can be hit with fines ranging from $250 to $5,000 per illegal worker and might even face jail time for repeat offenses.
Certain types of companies are subject to laws governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This includes companies that use toxic materials or perform jobs that impact the water, soil, or air.
Individuals who operate home-based businesses ought to become educated about local regulations including business zoning or homeowner’s associations. Most HOA’s and zoning regulations prohibit owners from selling goods from their home direct to walk-in customers.
Owners that offer services out of their home such as therapeutic massage, beauty treatments, hair salon, or daycare provider are limited to the number of clients they serve on a daily basis.
These are just a few of the many business laws that can affect company operations. Taking time to consult with a law firm offers the ounce of prevention that can save owners from expensive and time-consuming legal litigation.
The law firm of Craton and Switzer has more than 45 years experience in helping business owners comply with business law while protecting company assets. If you’re in need of a California business lawyer we hope you will consider our firm.