Law is wide a varied field and frequently lawyers specialize as a result. Business law is one such example. There are several areas of business law a business owner should have an understanding of to properly run their business.
Employment and Labor
Hiring employees is one of the most important aspects of running a business. But, there are several important laws one needs to know to make sure they are in compliance with state and federal laws. Laws about discrimination, harassment, wages, overtime, termination and workers compensation are all important laws that one must have a working knowledge of to run a successful business.
Finance is the backbone of any business and it has to be done competently. Other than having a positive cash flow there are several areas of law that one needs to be aware of. If a company is publicly traded then securities laws come into play. As businesses bid on projects, antitrust laws such as the Sherman Act prevent collusion. And if a business can’t manage their finances properly, bankruptcy laws may well come into play.
Intellectual Property Laws
Patenting a great idea is one of the most important decisions a business can make to safe guard the time and effort to develop a product and ensure no one steals the idea. Online this is generally the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which protects the intellectual capital of an online presence. This covers things such as music, movies, copy, text. As a business owner it is imperative to have a working knowledge of these laws to prevent intellectual theft.
If a business is involved in manufacturing, then it needs to understand laws affecting the environment. These laws cover things such as air pollution, water pollution, run off and even clean up if there is contamination. If a business produces toxic products or byproducts then it will need to have an understanding of ecosystems. These are complicated laws and require a specialty skill set in law practice.
These are just some of the more important laws that effect any business owner out there that is planning on starting or already has an active business. Failure to understand these laws or ignoring them is a great way to end up out of business and in trouble with Federal or state agencies. So take time to learn about them and consider consulting a business lawyer.