There are approximately 31 million small businesses in operation in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. A considerable segment of the workforce in the U.S.A. is employed in the small business sector. If you are a small business owner, we’ve created this legal resource center for you. Through the Legal Resources for a Small Business Owner, we provide you with a comprehensive range of materials and information on a variety of topics that include:
- Organizing your small business
- Your small business and employment law
- Your small business and real estate law
- Taxes and your small business
- Regulatory compliance
- Insurance and your small business
- Estate planning and your small business
- Protecting employees, patrons, and others at your small business
Organizing Your Small Business
If you are contemplating launching a new small business, a primary consideration is to make a decision about how you will organize your enterprise. There are a number of ways in which a small business can be legally organized. The most commonplace ways in which a small business can be organized are:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company
- Subchapter S corporation
Your Small Business and Employment Law
Almost 50 percent of workers in the United States are employed by small businesses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If your small business has employees, it is crucial that you have a fundamental understanding of all applicable employment statutes and regulations that impact your enterprise and its workers.
The Legal Resources for a Small Business Owner provides a spectrum of crucial employment law materials for your use. These include:
- Hiring qualified team members
- Terminating workers
- Establishing and maintaining a healthy workplace
- Proper employer and employee relations
- Worker leave and associated policies
- Creating a positive work environment
- Creating an employee handbook
- Safety and worker injuries
- And many other topics
Your Small Business and Real Estate Law
If you’ve made the decision to have a brick and mortar world presence for your small business, you will need a location from which your enterprise operates. As a consequence, you may need to purchase or rent commercial real estate for your business.
Legal Resources for a Small Business Owner provides a variety of helpful resources when it comes to real estate law and issues. These include everything from information about real estate sales agreements, real estate lease agreements, and a variety of other materials that provide useful information to a business owner.
Taxes and Your Small Business
One of the major areas of small business ownership that can bog down an entrepreneur is taxes. People understandably consider the Internal Revenue Services to be a humorless organization – and understandably so. Hidden away on the IRS website is a nest of pithy, witty quotes about taxation and paying taxes. For example, this quote from an unknown person:
“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.”
Depending on the nature of your enterprise, as a small business owner you face the prospect of having to address a wide range of different tax-related issues. These can include:
- Sales tax
- Payroll tax
- Unemployment tax
- Real estate tax
- Excise tax
- License tax
Legal Resources for a Small Business Owner provides a range of useful information about taxes and taxation for an entrepreneur.
Insurance and Your Small Business
Making intelligent decisions regarding insurance necessary for a small business can be a challenging and sometimes a seemingly overwhelming endeavor. Time and again, a small business owner takes shortcuts when it comes to insurance issues, walkarounds that actually can be harmful or even dangerous to an enterprise and the entrepreneur who runs it.
A small business can face the need to make decisions regarding a long list of insurance coverages that include:
- Business liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Health insurance
- Automobile insurance
- Disability insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Flood insurance
Estate Planning and Your Small Business
Many a small business owner desires for his or her enterprise to pass to a family member upon his or her death. In other situations, business owners want to establish a mechanism whereby a surviving owner is bequeathed a deceased owner’s interest in an enterprise.
The fact is that estate planning issues associated with a small business owner and a small business can be complex. In Legal Resources for a Small Business, an array of strategies and informational materials is presented to assist an entrepreneur in making wise decisions when it comes to estate planning and business venture.
Protecting Employees, Patrons, and Others at Your Small Business
A small business owner like you has a legal duty to maintain the workplace as well as any premises that customers, clients, vendors, and others enter in a reasonably safe condition. This legal obligation includes compliance with specific state laws and regulations, court case decisions. Court cases are part of what technically is known as “common law.” In its essential terms, common law “is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. The defining characteristic of common law is that it arises as precedent.”
When it comes to keeping people safe at your business and the application of common law, a prime example is a concept that is known as “premises liability.” Pursuant to the concept, as a small business owner, you have a legal duty or legal responsibility to ensure that your business location in the brick and mortar world is maintained in a reasonably safe condition.
Our resource center provides you with vital information and materials to assist you in satisfying your obligation to reasonably protect people at your business, from employees to patrons to any others who are invited to your premises.
In 2020, small business owners sharpened their focus on their responsibility to maintain a healthy, safe store, office, or other type of location. For example, a small business owner needs to ensure a store, office, or other location is kept reasonably safe from contamination by an infectious disease or an infestation by germ-carrying rodents. Small business owners need to be well-informed about guarding premises against dangerous biohazards that can take many forms.
Keep in mind that these materials are designed to inform and educate. They are not legal advice. Nothing takes the place of consulting with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney if you have a legal question or legal issue of some type.
Take some time to peruse what is available in the Legal Resources for a Small Business Owner.