Everyone is within their right to build a business establishment. However, this right isn’t entirely absolute. There are laws you probably didn’t know exist that seek to regulate the way you operate your business. While these laws may not impede the growth of your business, you wouldn’t want to risk getting audited and giving the government a reason to close your business down. Here are a few essential tips to help you steer clear of any legal trouble that might cost you more than just attorney’s fees:
1) Keep your taxes and books in order
Much of the legal trouble businesses find themselves in have a lot to do with tax laws. It may be tedious and time-consuming to give your dues to the government, but managing your taxes is crucial if you don’t like getting slapped with a heavy penalty. Regardless of the size and nature of your business, a proper accounting of taxable assets, income, and deductibles can help keep your business away from the prying eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. As much as possible, work closely with your CPA and fix any critical issues in the books.
2) Understand intellectual property laws
As a business owner, you take pride in the fact that you are offering unique ideas to your market. However, without proper trademarking and copyright protections, your competitors might steal your ideas and pass them off as their own. At this point, any attempt to take credit would be impossible and you could even risk getting sued for copyright infringement. As messy as it seems, you need to take intellectual property seriously to avoid lengthy and costly legal battles.
3) Secure a safe and healthy work environment
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace accidents cost companies $62 billion annually. Paying off compensation packages should be the least of their worries if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finds clear violations of workplace safety laws. Installing mitigating measures, setting up with appropriate safety guidelines, and maintaining your office facility are crucial if you don’t want your business to crumble. More importantly, you also have a legal and moral responsibility to protect your employees, so setting up a safer place to work is imperative.
4) Form a legal department
If you are in an industry that’s governed by countless laws and regulations such as financial services and healthcare, you need to form a legal team that has had experience working in your sector. Depending on the size of your organization, you may have to hire attorneys for different legal areas, from corporate governance to compliance defense in case of an anti-money laundering investigation. No matter how expensive hiring legal professionals can get, it is still an important means to growing your business within the bounds of the law.
Legal problems can cost you millions. The worst part is that you can never escape from them once your business falls through the cracks. Keep these tips in mind so you can tap into growth opportunities without having to worry about hefty fines and jail time.