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Useful Online Tools and Guides to Help Small Business Comply with Laws and Regulations

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Useful Online Tools and Guides to Help Small Business Comply with Laws and Regulations

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: June 28, 2012

From starting and growing a business to managing operations day-to-day, one thing is certain in business – dealing with laws and regulations. 

Whether you are hiring your first employee, formalizing your business structure, or applying for a license, you’ll encounter a hairball of ever-changing federal, state and local rules and regulations.

To help business owners unravel the hairball and get answers, SBA.gov offers a variety of helpful tools and resources.

1. Comply With Universal Business Laws

Whatever your business type, size or industry, there are many universal laws and regulations that will apply to you.

To help you navigate this landscape, SBA.gov’s Business Law Guide provides an overview of common business laws and regulations that currently impact small business. These include licenses and permit requirements, employment and labor laws, tax regulations, advertising law, finance, intellectual property, workplace health and safety, and data privacy laws.

In addition to this general guide, SBA also offers some useful step-by-step guides and tools that can help new business owners, in particular, take the right steps towards compliance:

  • SBA Direct – This interactive and customizable tool gives you quick access to information you need by filtering content from across the SBA.gov website and matching you to business resources, advice and training in your region.
  • 10 Steps to Starting a Business – This includes information on key legal steps that all new business owners need to be aware of as they start up.
  • 5 Steps to Registering your Business – This provides information on incorporation, registering your business name and obtaining a tax ID.
  • Hiring your First Employee – These 10 steps outline what you need to do to ensure you comply with key federal and state regulations when hiring.
  • Business Licenses – All businesses need some form of license or permit to operate legally, even home-based businesses. To help you determine what your business needs, use SBA.gov’s “License and Permit Search Tool.” Simply enter your zip code and business type to see which licenses and permits apply to your small business along with links to web pages, application forms and instructions.

2. Comply With Specific Industry Laws

In addition to information about the laws and regulations that impact most small business owners, SBA.gov also includes a large selection of Industry Guides that provide resources, information and guidance for small businesses that operate in specific highly regulated industries.

As well as regulatory guidance, these guides also provide information on training, financing, and business growth strategies. For example, the Manufacturing Guide includes information on financing options, advice on "lean manufacturing," and an overview of free and low-cost in-person training programs to help small manufacturers expand and grow.

If you operate in a federally-regulated industry including agriculture, alcohol, tobacco, aviation, wildlife or fishing, among others, you’ll also need to register for a specific federal license or permit.

Have questions about legal and regulatory matters? Find answers on the SBA Community Discussion Boards. For more complex issues, always consult an attorney.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

The license/permit search tool looks useful. It's a nightmare trying to figure out all the licenses and permits for a business. It's like a full time job that could put someone out of business.
This time I was able to figure out all the rules, so it is useful for our small businesses. Always fair and legal protection of small businesses will be motivated to help us develop more robust. Thank you very much
Like yuor post follow my video This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank so much !
Thank you so much! I am so glad that I found this article. I am a small business owner and am fairly new to it so I am always scared that I am missing something that I may pay dearly for later on. With this site it will help me stay on track with things I need to do. Thanks!
Does this apply for all types of business, or a specific type/niche? Regardless, this is a great tool/resource for businesses. Appreciated Caron.
Business compliance is actually one of the first things that business owners should know when starting their businesses. This is to make sure that they have the legal documents and business permits to operate their business, has their employees certified and qualified applicants, as well as regulated by the business authority / regulator in the area.
Like yuor post follow my video This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Well Great post i like it very much thanks
The license/permit search tool looks useful. It's a nightmare trying to figure out all the licenses and permits for a business. It's like a full time job that could put someone out of business.
I love your articles. They are so helpful. Thanks for your sharring.

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