Did you start a new business, or you are “retooling” an existing business? Congratulations! While the primary focus of any business is to become profitable, you should always make sure that you are following the law with regard to federal and state tax, and labor & employment issues. Unfortunately, many business owners are not proactive in these areas, which can lead to them being sued for issues and situations that could have been easily avoided if they took the time to ensure compliance with the requirements.
Failure to properly report federal and state taxes can lead to either criminal or civil penalties (jail and/or fines) depending on whether fraud was involved. Businesses must also adhere to labor and employment laws having to do with employee compensation and benefits, overtime, and working conditions. Businesses must have a process in place to report workplace discrimination and appropriate policies for disciplining employee misconduct. It is much more cost effective to have policies and procedures in place than having to hire an attorney once an action has been taken against you and your business. The important “take away” from this blog is that you may be liable even if you did not intend to engage in any wrong doing.
At Schwam-Wilcox and Associates we can create a “business checklist” to make sure that your business is following the necessary federal and state regulations, as well as create an employee policies and procedures manual to help protect business owners from future litigation.