Introduction:In the present world business plays an important role in every sphere of life. Business determines one’s life style, standard of living, education and even cultural standard. So to lead a bette-r life we need to understand business and study business. Business is dynamic – always changing. Coping with both predictable and unpredictable events can be easier, more efficient, and less traumatic if we understand business.
Study of business will help us to understand that today national economies are no more independent entities rather interdependent and taking an uniform global shape, economic depression in U.S.A. has an impact on the whole world, business and global warming are not different issues, war in Iraq or Afghanistan has some kind of link with business, China becoming a factor in the world economy because of excellent business skill and the system known as “Free Enterprise”. However the road to success will be easier for those who understand how business works.
As business is an indispensable part of life there should have some rules and regulations to control and operate it in a disciplined way. In order to do so business laws have been introduced. And in the present world business firms must operate within the boundaries of laws and government regulation. It is important for all business owners to know and understand the laws that affect their businesses. It is equally important to comply with those laws. Ignorance of the laws has never been a valid excuse in any Court of Law, and it never will be. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know what laws affect your business.
Since every business, in every state, in every country is different, the laws that affect your business may be different than the laws that affect other businesses. For that reason, it is impossible to give an account of all laws that affect all businesses. You will need to find out what the laws are that affect your business, however, these tips will help you know what questions to ask in regards to certain laws.
Business Structure:If your business is a sole proprietorship, you may need a DBA certificate, and a business license for the city you are doing business in. Corporations have other requirements, which also vary from state to state. Find out what laws affect you based on your business structure.
Zoning Laws:It is illegal to operate certain types of businesses in certain areas. Check with your local zoning commission to find out where you can operate the type of business that you have.
Licenses and Permits:Different businesses may require specific licenses and permits. Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits specific to your business.
Laws specific to Corporations:There are many tax laws and other laws that are specific to corporations. These laws vary from state to state, and generally affect how the corporation is set up, managed, and how stocks and securities are handled.
Environmental Laws:If your business handles chemicals, hazardous wastes, or other materials that affect the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency will have laws that affect your business.
Employment Laws:Employment laws will affect how you hire employees, how you pay them, and how you treat them. Failure to comply with employment laws will almost always result in a lawsuit, or an investigation by the Labor Board in your state.
Tax Laws:There are too many tax laws for most business owners to keep up with – unless they are tax professionals. In order to comply with the tax laws, it is bestto hire a tax professional.
Business and Contract Laws:Just as tax laws are complicated, contract laws are complicated as well. Protect yourself and your interests by hiring a business lawyer to help you comply with these laws, and to use these laws to protect yourself and your business.
Consumer Protection Laws:These laws are designed to protect consumers from fraud and from defective or dangerous products. A business lawyer can usually help you in this area as well.
Internet Laws:If you conduct any portion of your business on the Internet, you must comply with specific laws. The biggest issue facing business owners conducting business on the Internet is the new SPAM laws.
Failure to comply with the laws that affect your business can cost you a lot of money in fines and penalties. Being forced to close your business down may be the result of not complying with certain laws. Save yourself time, money, and grief by finding out what laws will affect your business ahead of time, and keep up-to-date on changes in the laws as time goes by. There may be other types of laws that are specific to your business. By consulting with a business lawyer, you will be able to find out what these laws are, and how to comply with them.
Businesses in the United States can choose from many different models, styles and types of growth, but they are still structured and directed by government regulation. A large number of laws affect businesses, defining illegality and misconduct or setting financial and operational codes for a business to follow. The many business laws can be divided into several primary groups, depending on what aspect of the business they affect. Regulatory Laws
Regulatory laws are standards that affect how businesses operate in specific situations. While most business laws are regulatory in some way, there are more to certain industries than others. These include environmental laws and building code laws set forth by both the federal government and state governments. There are also regulatory laws for international trade and most types of business licensing. Labor Laws
Labor laws are regulations that pertain directly to how businesses treat employees. These laws include minimum wage regulations, wage garnishment rules and worker protection rules, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Labor laws also includes older laws, such as Child Labor Protection acts and Occupational Safety and Health rules. States also have laws for employee insurance and benefit programs. Tax Laws
Tax laws control how a business must report its financial status to the government. The IRS, for example, specifies many different methods that businesses must use when reporting income and expenses. The accrual method of accounting is required for businesses over a certain size and depreciation schedules must be chosen from a limited number of options, and additional methods have their own regulations. Many of these laws are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, but some are notable deviations, such as government-allowed depreciation schedules. Reporting Laws
Reporting laws control how businesses must report their finances to investors and the government. These laws set standards that incorporated businesses must meet and are necessary for transparency purposes. Reporting laws are similar to tax laws but are more concerned with preventing fraud and misconduct. They are affected by legislation such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act.
There are a number of laws that affect business. The following are the most important: |[pic] |[pic] | |Employers must pay all workers equal pay for equal work |Employers must provide healthy and safe working conditions and employees must | | |act in a safe and responsible way. | |[pic] |[pic] | |Employers must not discriminate against anyone for a job |Employers must not discriminate against anyone for a job because of their race| |because of their sex | | |[pic] |[pic] | |
A consumer can sue a business if it sells them a product that|An agreement between the employer and employee. It includes conditions such as| |is of poor quality, is not as described and does not fit the |rates of pay, hours of work, holidays, pension contributions and the amount of| |purpose for which it is being sold. |notice that must be given if the worker wants to leave or the employer wants | | |to make the worker redundant. Employees taken on for a month or more must be | | |given a written statement of the conditions within two months of the date the | | |job starts. |
There are also various laws which prevent firms from copying others’ ideas and inventions – COPYRIGHT – and which restrict the pollution that they can discharge – ENVIRONMENTAL. [pic]
Whether your business is big,small, or in between, you’ll be wise to keep track of new laws affecting your operations. Some took effect before the New Year, while the rest went live Jan. 1. Here are the top 10 you need to heed: 1. SB 459: This law took effect on Nov. 9 and imposes a big fine – up to $25,000 per violation – on employers that misclassify employees as contractors. Violators not only have to pay the fine, but they will be tagged publicly for it. The law has a scarlet letter provision that requires violators to post a notice admitting their guilt.
The posting must be on the business’s website or in a prominent place where employees and the public can see it. California’s Labor Code, meanwhile, has a vague definition of an independent contractor, so it will pay to classify workers correctly. 2. Compliance posters: After one of the most active legislative sessions in years, the state of California will release up to four mandatory-to-post labor law changes. Starting on Jan. 1, employers must display the following posters in the workplace: • Discrimination and Harassment in Employment are Prohibited by Law. The state added gender, gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected classes. • Pregnancy Disability, Notice A.
This states the Department of Fair Employment and Housing requires that employers continue to provide and pay group health plan benefits for women during pregnancy disability leave. However, if no health coverage is provided, none is required to start when pregnancy disability leave is taken.
• Family Care and Medical Leave (California Family Rights Act Leave) and Pregnancy Disability Leave, Notice B. This has been revised to include the statement: “The CFRA prohibits us from denying, interfering with or restraining your exercise of these rights.” Another compliance poster is still in the works, and is expected to reflect big changes to workers’ compensation laws.
3. Commissions in writing: This has to be in place by Jan. 1, 2013, but don’t put it off, it’s important to set in motion. It requires contracts be written up for jobs paid via commissions. It must explain the payment method for commissions, with a copy provided to the employee who signs the agreement. The terms remain in full force until the contract is rewritten or employment ends. Commissions do not include short-term productivity bonuses or profit sharing unless the employer agrees to pay a fixed percentage of sales or profits as compensation. 4. Fed W-2 health care costs:
Part of health care reform measures requires that employers report on W-2 forms the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to employees. While this isn’t required for 2012 W-2s, employers need to put procedures in place in order to capture the relevant information this year for the 2013 W-2, although employers that file fewer than 250 W-2s are exempt until the IRS issues further guidance. Coverage cost is the amount of premium charged and includes portions paid by both the employer and employee and the covered employee’s family. 5. NLRB poster:
The National Labor Relations Board has issued a final rule requiring most private sector employers to post a notice telling employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Employers must also provide a link to the notice from their internal or external website if they regularly use the site to inform staff of personnel rules or policies. Employers must display the new poster by Jan. 31. 6. AB 22:
This bans most employers from getting credit information about applicants or employees. Labor unions backing the measure argued credit reports can’t measure an applicant’s honesty, integrity or other traits, and are often inaccurate anyway. But businesses said they show an applicant’s integrity and can reduce future litigation and loss. Credit checks are still allowed for applicants who handle personal information, company funds, and for managerial positions, police, Department of Justice jobs, or when legally required. Banking and fi nancial institutions are exempt. 7. Domestic partner benefits:
Current law prohibits insurance companies and insurance providers from not insuring the domestic partner of the premium holder. As of 2012, the Insurance Nondiscrimination Act, SB 757 ends its exemption for policies issued outside of California to employers located primarily outside of the state with most of its employees also outside of California. Now every group health insurance policy provided to a California resident, regardless of the employer’s location, must offer equal coverage for spouses and registered domestic partners. 8. Genetic discrimination:
This law, which took effect Jan. 1, widens the areas in which genetic information cannot be used to discriminate against employees. Those protections had been limited to employment and health insurance coverage. It now includes housing, employment, education, public accommodations, health insurance coverage, life insurance coverage, mortgage lending and elections. It defines “genetic information” as an employee’s genetic tests, or those of an employee’s family members, and a disease or disorder in an employee’s family.
That means hiring or employment discrimination based on any of the above characteristics is now against the law. 9. Organ, bone marrow donation leave: This law, from SB 272, requires private sector employers with 15 or more employees to grant up to 30 business days of paid leave in a one-year period to an employee donating an organ, and five business days in a one-year period for employees donating bone marrow.
The employee’s normal paid time off is not affected by donation time off, and health care coverage must also be maintained during donation leave. 10. Human Trafficking Disclosure: SB 657, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, requires large-volume retail and manufacturing companies to disclose their efforts to ensure their direct supply chains are free from slave labor and human traffi cking. Companies must verify supply chains and their risks of slavery and human trafficking, do surprise audits of suppliers to determine compliance, have procedures to deal with suppliers found out of compliance, and train employees and managers in supply chain management.