Becoming a business owner can bring many rewards, but it could also lead to many headaches and generally stressful times. Out of all of the issues that business owners might encounter, perhaps the most troublesome are those in the legal realm. In some situations, legal matters can quickly end a business, and depending on the nature of the problem, can affect the business owner as an individual too.
In most cases, laws are designed to support society’s best interests and encourage regular operations. This is generally no different when it comes to business activities. Companies can freely continue their business activities by following all relevant laws.
Otherwise, businesses and their owners can be subject to penalties, investigations into their business affairs, and potential litigation when they violate these regulations. If you have even a shadow of a doubt about your business proceedings with regard to the law, contact a business law firm whose lawyers have in-depth knowledge and can provide comprehensive legal assistance.
1. Employment Law
Even an individual who starts with a one-person enterprise may eventually hire more people as their company grows. Once this happens, the company has an additional responsibility to ensure that everything related to its employee relationship is handled correctly and complies with applicable legal principles.
Laws regulate nearly every aspect of the relationship between employers and employees, including working hours, working environment conditions, hiring, and dismissal. Business owners are responsible for ensuring that they understand these laws, how to apply them, and how to make sure that their business does not violate them.
Labor law violations can harm virtually any company, irrespective of its size. In many situations, the severity of penalties for labor law violations increases with the number of employees.
2. Ethics Law
Because of their nuances, companies can quickly and unknowingly violate ethics laws without intending to do so. This is because morality can be a very “gray” area. What may be considered right and moral for one person is frequently enough construed as unethical by others.
In the business context, ethics can be applied to almost all functional business areas: finance, human resources, sales and marketing, contractual agreements, and billing. If a business owner believes that they are operating their business ethically, they may continue to do so, provided they comply with relevant laws. However, not following the law can unsurprisingly land a business in legal trouble quickly.
An example of an unethical business practice would be unfair pricing. For instance, say three local bakeries jointly decide to charge the same price for the bread they sell. A company usually determines the price of its products or services.
In this case, when companies collude to “fix” the prices of the products they sell to no longer compete on costs, the government sees that this reduces competition in the market. This type of collaboration is considered unethical, so a law was enacted prohibiting price manipulation. If a company violates the ethics laws established by the government, it may face fines or other steep penalties.
In the digital era, a company’s reputation suffers immensely in the watchful eyes of its customers. These customers may swiftly refuse to do business with the company and any related ones. This type of “punishment” is often quite difficult to recover from. These days, companies have much more convincing reasons to pay attention to ethical issues than in the past.
3. Customer Protection Law
No business should ignore customer relationships because they directly impact business growth. For this reason, laws have been formulated to regulate and manage the relationship between consumers and enterprises.
In most cases, the law is more likely to be on the customer’s side than the business’s. These laws intend to safeguard consumers from facing uncertain circumstances. Some customer protection laws cover various topics, including privacy rights, product liability, false statements, and unfair business practices.
With any of the areas of the law mentioned above, the violation of consumer laws can have devastating effects on businesses ranging from hefty fines to suspension of business licenses.
While there are proven cases of businesses being in the wrong, there are also instances where fraudulent and unethical practices are followed by customers. This is done with the intention of extracting money from businesses by sending them frivolous lawsuits. According to foremost legal experts, James Berry & Associates, businesses should seek experienced judicial help when confronted with such challenges.
4. Immigration audit
Companies tend to receive job applications from a lot of foreign applicants in modern times. Businesses should be aware that the United States has enacted laws regulating the employment of non-citizens or non-permanent residents, and violations of these laws generally result in severe penalties.
The US government can conduct a sudden immigration audit and impose huge fines on companies that have violated immigration-related laws. Therefore, business owners are responsible for ensuring that their employees have the legal rights to work in the country.
Small businesses may also face many other legal issues related to taxation, competition, and licensing. Thus, it is essential for any business owner to be proactive in understanding the law and how non-compliance will affect your business. By hiring a New York Business Attorney, you can get comprehensive assistance and avoid potentially catastrophic legal consequences before they happen. Having a legal professional by your side will always make life easier for you.