No matter what type of business you’re in, complying with the rules and regulations set by the state and federal government is going to be part of everything you. Almost every transaction or business-related activity you do, from manufacturing to pricing products, selling, and promoting them – is covered by the law. Add things like how you report income and pay taxes or even dispose of your manufacturing waste – name it and you know that the law provides for it.
With such numerous government regulations, and their complex nature, it is normal for business owners like you to struggle when complying with them. These laws can make your head spin, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a veteran business owner.
Well, despite the ever-increasing volume of government regulations, understanding them is not as scary as it seems.
And even if it seems that these policies are meant to make things more difficult and “unfair” for businesses, they are actually meant to protect them. Things like fraud, unfair competition, environmental pollution, product safety issues, and unethical practices can cause a business to fail. Applying those regulations can help you in your business improvement processes.
How Government Regulations Help Improve Your Business
The creation of organizations, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA), provides companies with opportunities to grow their business through various programs and services. While it is usually difficult for entrepreneurs to obtain financing services from banks, such as payday loans for self-employed to fund businesses, the SBA helps by providing guarantees against defaults, thus, increasing the approval rate of your loan applications. Entrepreneurs can also turn to the SBA for grants, advice, training, and management counseling.
Programs that Drive Sales
The U.S. Commerce Department provides programs that help small and medium-sized businesses grow by helping them increase their overseas sales. They also give protection against crime and fraud. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers policies concerning marketing and advertising ensure that businesses only say what is true about their products. Additionally, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966 ensures that your company and all other companies are in equal footing in all aspects, from manufacturing to marketing.
Trademark and Patents
The U.S. Patent and Trademark rules protect businesses by ensuring that their intellectual properties are safe against illegal use and copying by other businesses or individuals. Trademarking gives you legal ownership in specific locations, be it state-wide or nationwide. With a trademark, you have legal ownership over your products and services. You are also protected from counterfeiting. Additionally, in the event that a business tries to use your name or a similar name, you have legal recourse to stop it. At the same time, a trademark is also used as a way of protecting consumers. As companies are responsible for products or services bearing trademarks, they will take more pride in them and will work harder to make sure that their services are of the best quality. How about patents? How do they work and benefit your business?
Generally, a patent gives you the legal right to prevent other individuals or companies from copying or selling your invention without your permission. This is very important given the fact that counterfeiting is very rampant these days.
There are many other government rules and regulations created to help businesses especially in times of economic adversities. One is the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
There’s an increasing debate about whether or not government regulations are helping businesses. You will realize that most businesses, including those in the finance sector, fractional executive and business consulting areas, and many other sectors have been affected (both positively and negatively) by regulations. Nonetheless, these regulations are meant to help businesses thrive and at the same time, protect the consumers. More importantly, they are implemented to create a healthy, safe, fair and competitive business environment.
However, to avoid issues, business owners should stay abreast of the applicable regulations. They should also take steps to remain in compliance.
Government regulations are complex, that’s for sure. They also come from various sources. The key to understanding them is to know where to look and what laws you are looking for. Below are the major categories on business regulation:
- Tax Code – the kind of taxes you pay depends on the structure and type of your business. Keeping with the tax requirements of your state (and the federal government) is important for the smooth operation of your business.
- Employment and Labor Law – this law helps you determine which major employment laws are applicable to your business.
- Antitrust Laws
- Advertising Laws
- Environmental Regulations
- State Licensing – many local governments have their own requirements for businesses and they are equally important to understand as their federal counterparts.
Regulations will always be around, no matter what type of business you’re in. Complying with these policies will ensure that companies have a safe and healthy environment where they can thrive and grow.