Special to California Business Journal.
Before starting a new business, every business owner must understand that there are laws they need to comply with. Failure to do so might result in heavy fines — even jail time.
Most of these laws are meant to protect the consumer, the employees as well as the general public. Below, we will look at a few laws that businesses need to know as well as which areas they need to focus on.
Businesses must be truthful in their adverts and not be misleading to people who see these adverts. With the growth of so many different platforms that businesses can advertise on, as well as growing competition, a business might be tempted to embellish them a little to look better. If you do this, you might be sued under consumer protection laws.
Also, familiarize yourself with telemarketing and spamming laws. These laws govern online advertising which is huge right now.
Businesses must take every measure they can to prevent fraud and money laundering. The best way to do this is to verify the identity of all their users, clients, and customers using electronic identity verification services like Cognito. Cognito provides modern, smart identity verification and compliance solutions for businesses that want to operate within the law. They can verify the identity of your customers as well as other businesses you deal with. This ensures these businesses are in good standing and you are not exposed when dealing with them.
This is perhaps one of the most important areas to focus on. Laws that govern employment and labor are always changing and you might need to hire a lawyer to help your business keep up with all of them. Among other things, these laws focus on worker safety, minimum wage, working conditions for immigrants, equal opportunity employment, benefits, and privacy of workers.
The Environmental Protection Agency works with other government agencies to regulate the effects and impact of a business on the environment. They regulate effluent, disposal of waste materials, carbon footprints among other things.
The EPA might visit your business from time to time to see if you are in compliance so ensure you are so that you do not get in trouble.
Businesses are mandated to protect the privacy of their employees as well as that of their customers. Businesses must secure this data and not disclose it. They must also do everything they can to ensure this data is not accessed by malicious third parties.
If you are not in compliance and your customer data is disclosed, people can sue your business for breaching their privacy.
Businesses must follow finance laws that relate to antitrust regulations, securities and bankruptcy. Businesses must also ensure there is no embezzlement or fraud going on at the business.
There are also strict tax laws that every business owner should know to ensure they are in compliance.
There are so many laws and regulations that dictate what a business can and cannot do. Business owners will do well to keep this in mind and if they are overwhelmed, they can always hire a lawyer to help them navigate all these laws and regulations.