Complying with Government Regulations

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Yes, it takes time. But following government rules and regulations is necessary and pays off in the long run. From local licenses to ...

Yes, it takes time. But following government rules and regulations is necessary and pays off in the long run. From local licenses to federal taxes, identify the regulations that apply to your business. A three-part strategy will help:

  1. Get a business license and any other local or state permits you need to start operating your business.
  2. Find up-to-date information about pertinent tax and labor laws.
  3. Take advantage of free resources that teach you about local, state and federal regulations.

Here are the most effective solutions to navigate the array of government regulations at the local, state and federal government levels.

Check the official business link to the U.S. government

Business.gov was created to be the central point of contact for any questions you have about government rules and regulations that affect your business.
to check on specific laws and regulations for your area.

Apply for the right business licenses

Get a business license and, if needed, a certificate of occupancy for your office from local authorities.
links to licensing authorities in all states.

Comply with a wide range of tax rules and regulations

Except for partnerships, all businesses must file an annual income tax return. Self-employment, excise and employment taxes are other common business levies.
A to Z information on tax rules and regulations that might impact your business at the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Web site.

Seek help for unfair regulatory practices from the Small Business Ombudsman

The Ombudsman's missions is to assist small businesses with unfair and excessive federal regulatory enforcement, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, retaliation or other unfair regulatory enforcement action by a federal agency.
how the Ombudsman's office can help your small business.

Trust, but verify

All employers must verify a worker's eligibility by processing a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Don't ignore safety

While state laws vary, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets general standards for employers. And businesses with at least three employees must have workers' compensation insurance in case of on-the-job injuries.
OSHA offices about standards, and state labor offices for insurance questions. Find answers you need in the OSHA small business section.

Keep up-to-date records

Businesses must meet specific standards on internal financial reporting and protection of customer information.
U.S. Department of Labor for up-to-date information on wage-and-hour laws, leave and overtime issues. The federal government publishes new rules and regulations every weekday in the Federal Register.
  • The National Ombudsman receives comments from small business concerns and acts as a liaison between them and federal agencies. Comments received from small businesses, are forwarded to federal agencies for a high level review and federal agencies are requested to consider the fairness of their enforcement action.
  • For instance, the Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor determined that a brewer and assistant brewer at a small Illinois brewery were not exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After spending several thousand dollars on attorney fees and many hours on appeal, the brewery owner filed a comment with the National Ombudsman and the federal agency reversed its decision.
  • In another case, a small importer in Maryland had been fined by U.S. Customs for failure to notify them in the time period prescribed by regulation of the presence of unentered merchandise eligible for general order. When, at the request of the National Ombudsman, U.S. Customs reviewed the comment filed by the small business owner, all monies were refunded.

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