Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

January 2018 Archives

Should Landlords Incorporate?

To incorporate or not to incorporate? Small business owners in every industry ask themselves this question. Forming a corporation or an LLC involves paperwork and money, while running things as a sole proprietor can expose you to some potentially tricky liability and tax questions. When it comes to landlords, it really comes down to whether the benefits of incorporation are worth the cost.

Chicago KFC Can't Market Muslim-Friendly Chicken, Court Rules

Here's a court case made for the drive-through. A federal court in Chicago has ruled that Afzal Lokhandwala, owner of several Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in the area, can keep selling halal chicken at his restaurants -- he just can't advertise it as halal chicken. The case offers a good example of how franchise agreements can control certain aspects of a franchisee's business and the problems that can pose for entrepreneurs.

Last year was a busy time for small business owners. Between federal action on tax and immigration to state action on minimum wage and family leave, it might've seemed like you spent more time trying to keep pace with legal updates than running your small biz.

Well, here's the bad news first: 2018 isn't likely to get any simpler. But the good news is we're here for you, highlighting the new laws and legal trends you'll need to keep an eye on this year.

We live in politically-charged times, and we often don't check our opinions at the office door. And even if we do, the internet has an amazing knack for carrying them into work anyway.

From loose water cooler talk to social media posts that go viral, employees can often put their foot in their employer's mouth. So can you limit your workers' free speech? And do you have a legal obligation to accommodate it in the workplace? Here are a few helpful articles, from our archives:

While some of us would love to close up shop in the midst of a "bomb cyclone," we may not have that luxury, putting employers in the unenviable position of asking employees to work in some frigid conditions. From postmen to presidents, most of us still have to go to work in cold weather, so the question then becomes how to keep your workers safe from some of the most common winter work injuries.

Here are some tips:

If you were just getting your cannabiz off the ground, yesterday's news might've been quite the buzzkill. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded several Obama-era directives curtailing enforcement of federal prohibitions on the possession and sale of marijuana.

The memo directs U.S. Attorneys to "enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities." So does this mean the feds are going to be raiding sellers in weed-legal states?

We all know that it's a free market, for the most part, and small business owners are willing to compete for customers and clients. Entrepreneurs often have faith that their product or service will be preferred, or at least they're willing to win some and lose some, without too much complaint, as long as they believe the playing field is level.

What about when circumstances that are out of your control, an "act of god" for example, cause you to lose business? Can you sue?

The Golden State has long been one of the most worker-friendly when it comes to everything from minimum wage to paid time off. California continues to roll out employee protections in 2018, prohibiting employers from including questions regarding salary history or criminal convictions on applications, or even inquiring during job interviews.

And these are just two major changes California employers need to be aware of in the coming year. Here's what you need to know for your small business.