Small business owners have a lot on their plates. Keeping revenue up, keeping costs down, and covering payroll every two weeks can all be stressful. The last thing most small business owners want to do is to think about legal issues. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. If things go wrong, you will be glad you thought about these 5 legal issues:
1) Are My Hiring Practices Legal?
Federal and state law regarding hiring can be complicated. Under Federal law, you can’t make any decision based on the following categories: race, sex, color, religion, national origin, or age. In some states, there are more categories that you can’t base decisions on as well. In general, you should be making hiring decisions based on whether the applicant can do the job you are hiring them for. If you’re making decisions based on other factors, you’re opening yourself up to lawsuits. If you’re in Colorado and you have a question about this, talk to an employment lawyer today.
2) Are My Contractors Really Contractors?
It can be tempting to hire “independent contractors” as a small business owner. You don’t have to pay those annoying extra expenses like worker’s compensation premiums, payroll taxes, or unemployment insurance. But if you go down that road, you better make sure you are actually hiring contractors. That means you can’t control where or when they do the work you’re hiring them for. You also can’t control how they do it. If you want to keep control over the work that’s being done, you probably have to pay employees to do it for you.
3) Am I Covered?
Insurance exists for a reason. The world is a risky place, and insurance reduces some of those risks. But insurance doesn’t cover everything. Read your insurance policies and make sure they say what you think they say. Don’t wait for an accident to realize your business practices aren’t covered by your policy.
5) What does the Small Print Say?
The business world runs on contracts. Many of them are never read by anyone. And so long as everything goes right, that might not be a problem. But if things go wrong, those contracts and their exact language will suddenly become extremely important. Whether you’re looking at a purchase order, a shipping agreement, or an employment contract, if the you-know-what hits the fan, how those contracts are worded will become extremely important.
So there you have it. If you have any questions about any of these issues, talk to a local lawyer right away. If you’re in Colorado, contact us at the link below to talk to a lawyer trusts.