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Everything I needed to know about small business laws when I started my company

Thursday September 07, 2017,

4 min Read

Various laws are affecting small businesses today. Be it new legislation or amendments to existing ones, compliance is necessary. For an existing small business, a critical assessment of all the areas of operation and the relevant laws affecting them is vital. If you plan to start a new enterprise, familiarizing yourself with these rules beforehand is crucial.

Ways to Learn About Legal Requirements

A small business has to continually keep up to date with the legal requirements the government expects it to meet. Failure to do this can lead to its closure or even imprisonment for the owner. There are some means through which a small business in America can find out what the law requires of them.

• Training

Many small business owners (SBO) can attest firsthand to the impact laws have on their organizations. As an SBO you do not want to be caught on the wrong side of a law, you weren't aware of. A survey  by Thumbtack.com noted that small business owners expressed openness to the government’s regulatory support.

Basic compliance training is passing on of information and skills that will help a company observe any regulations, guidelines, and laws that the government places on it. Small business owners are increasingly turning to such training to fully comprehend the various legal requirements that they need to meet.

• The Small Business Administration

The SBA is an organization that caters to the needs of small businesses operating in the United States. It helps empower these firms in different areas and adopts a variety of means to accomplish this objective. One of its focal points is in assisting small enterprises to understand the importance of staying compliant. It avails resources that inform an organization of new legislation and how it may affect them.

• Media

News outlets are another means through which the public is notified of new or amended business laws. A small business owner should strive to keep up to date with their most preferred outlet and know of any emerging regulatory risks.

• Code of Federal Regulations

The code of federal regulations is a rich source of information for small businesses on the legal requirements placed on them. Although it is a bulky affair currently standing at 175,000 pages, it is important that a small enterprise comb through it to work towards full compliance.

Regulatory Areas to Be Compliant In

There are several areas in which the government requires a small business to be aware of and meet the set legal demands. These include:

• Occupational safety and health: The environment that employees work in ought to enhance their safety and not pose any risks to them. The Occupational Health and Safety Act lays out the guidelines that a small business should adhere to be compliant.

• Finance: A National Small Business Association survey found that approximately 60 percent of small businesses faced administrative hurdles due to the federal tax requirements set for them. Navigating these challenges is key for them to stay open.

• Labor Laws: The government sets out stringent and well-articulated stipulations small businesses need to meet if they are to recruit and retain employees. A competent understanding of the rights an employee has granted will help address these regulations. Emerging issues such as reporting staff remuneration by sex and gender will affect small businesses, and they need to stay current on them to successfully navigate their compliance.

• Immigration Laws: There is a renewed focus on foreign employees and matters about them. A small business that hires foreign nationals has a critical need to assess all the attendant laws to be compliant.

• Environmental Regulations: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continually evaluates the effect company operations have on the environment. A small business, therefore, needs to know what regulatory requirements to enforce to become compliant.


Many laws affect the nature of a small business and how it operates. Owners and operators of these firms need to continually be up to date on new legislation or amendments to existing ones. They need to be aware of emerging trends on the horizon that impact their firms in various areas to stay compliant.