If you are thinking about opening a small business, then you probably already know that you will need to meet many Department of Labor rules about who you can hire, OSHA rules about safe working conditions, and tax rules about employee withholdings. There are other rules, however, that you will need to meet depending on your industry. You should consider the different rules before deciding which sector you want to specialize in for your company.
Most people hear the term HIPAA, and they instantly think of the medical field. While HIPAA is generally associated with the medical field, HIPAA can affect small business owners in many different ways. For example, any health information in employee files must be protected with an extra layer of security. This includes all information concerning workers’ compensation cases. Furthermore, if you offer employees a flexible spending account or any wellness plan, that information must also be protected. You are responsible for seeing that any employee who handles healthcare information is adequately trained. If you are required to release health information for any reason, then you must keep a detailed log. You can never tell a supervisor why an employee is calling in sick. Your company policies must be in writing.
If you sell liquor, firearms, or tobacco to the public, then you must obey ATF regulations. Different requirements of the Gun Control Act apply to businesses selling firearms to the public, manufacturers, and importers, so it is vital to know the laws that are specific to your part of the firearm industry. Staying current and compliant with an FFL is important. FFL software can help with that. Depending on the business’ location, you may also have local and state laws to follow. If you are going to sell alcohol to the public, then you must follow state or tribal laws. Remember that rules can change frequently, so make sure to stay current.
As a small business owner, you must comply with advertising regulations enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. If your product is marketed to children, then you have even more rules that you have to comply with, and that may change frequently. Endorsements must be clearly stated, especially if the person is reimbursed for recommending your company. Scientific data must support health claims, and all ingredients in the product must be listed on the packaging.
Small businesses must comply with many regulations. Make sure to watch the news for changes in rules, as you do not want the government closing your business or handing you a hefty fine.
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