Four Tips for Complying with Government Regulations
by ChristineL, Former Moderator
- Created: June 1, 2010, 1:20 pm
Are you starting a business and confused about which licenses and permits to apply for? Are you at a loss with where to look for compliance information regulating your business and industry? While a handful of government regulations are applicable to all businesses, others regulations are specific to industries, such as businesses involved in tobacco and alcohol. Here are four tips for checking if your business is compliant with all laws and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local resources for further information.
1. Stay Compliant with Laws Applicable to All Business
Business.go;s Business Law Guide provides an overview of business laws and regulations. All businesses must comply with advertising, employment, labor, environmental, finance, tax, intellectual property, privacy, workplace safety, and health laws and regulations. You can also find relevant contacts if you have further questions.
Here is a quick run-down of what you need and who to contact:
- Business Licenses - Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to apply for state and local licenses and permits. For state compliance information, check your stat-s business portal at Business.gov. For local compliance information, use Business.go-s State Business Guide to choose your state and then your city and county.
- Tax Permits' All businesses are required to pay federal, state, and in some cases, local taxes. Most businesses will need to register with the IRS and state and local revenue agencies to receive a tax ID number and applicable tax permits.
- Building Permit' If you plan to construct or modify your business space, you may need to apply with city or county building and planning department.
- Health & Safety Permits' Depending on your business location and industry, you may need permits or inspections from your city or county health department.
- Signage Permit
- Alarm Permit' If you plan to install a burglar or fire alarm, you may need an alarm permit from you city or county police or fire department.
- Zoning Permit' If you plan to develop land for specific commercial use or run a business out of your home, check with your city or county building and planning department for permit requirements.
2. Comply with Laws for Specific Industries
Use the Business.gov Licenses and Permits Tool to check for licenses and permits that are specific to your industry. Once you plug in your location and your industry, the tool generates a list of licenses, permits and registrations required for your business.
If you cannot find your industry in the Licenses and Permits tool you can add it on the Suggest a New Industry or Business Type page. If another user has already submitted your business industry, you can vote on their suggestion instead.
3. Comply with Laws for Federally-Regulated Industries
The federal government regulates a number of business industries including agriculture, alcohol, tobacco, aviation, environmental, firearms, wildlife, fishing, mining and drilling, nuclear energy, radio and television, and transportation. If your business is involved in these activities, you will need to register for a federal license or permit.
4. Contact Relevant Government Agencies
If you have more questions about complying with government regulations you can contact the following government agencies.
- Local Compliance Contacts and Resources' a list of point of contacts by compliance categories
- State Business Compliance Contacts and Resources' a list of compliance contacts by state
- Federal Compliance Contacts and Resources - a list of compliance contacts by federal agency
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Legal terms and rules explained