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3 Legal Questions Every Small Business Owner Should Ask

Do you have a small business lawyer? If no, why not?

When there are countless rules, regulations, and laws governing the operations of a business, small business owners can't afford to ignore the legal aspects of running a business. Go find a small business attorney and ask him or her these three legal questions asap:

1. What Permits Do I Need?

In most cities, you need a business license to operate your business. Failure to do so could get your business closed temporarily while you try to apply for one. Also, you'll have the pleasure of paying fines, fees, and penalties.

Each city or county has its own regulations on what kind of permits each business needs. These could range from business operation licenses to zoning and land use permits to sales tax licenses or health department permits. A business attorney will be able to help you sort out exactly what permits you need and how to get them.

2. What Are the Wage and Hour Laws in My State?

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, your state may have differing minimum wage laws that set the minimum wage higher. Also, when state and federal regulations conflict, employers usually have to apply the regulation most favorable to the employee. This can get very confusing, so be sure to ask your small business attorney about this. You do not want to get sued for not paying minimum wage or overtime.

3. Do I Need to Provide Healthcare or Other Benefits?

Obamacare has quickly become ingrained in the American health care system. Are you familiar with its provisions and requirements? Do they apply to your business? The law applies different requirements to companies of different sizes, so consult with an attorney to see what benefits your company is required to provide.

If you don't already know the answers to these questions, don't dawdle. Go ask your small business attorneys these questions today.

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