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Published on June 14th, 2017 | by Anica O

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5 Compliance and Licensing Tips For Small Businesses

The economy is picking up momentum, and the internet is providing entrepreneurs more opportunities than ever before. Now is a good time to launch your own business. However, you might be doomed to failure from the start if you don’t follow the legal requirements. Here are five tips you need to follow to maintain licensing and compliance with regulations.

1. Get the right license

Your business must be licensed to operate in the state and community where you reside. Ecommerce sites and furniture movers are very different, so each company will need to apply for a different license. You may be required to display your license, report changes, and renew it regularly. Some locations may require special permits, bonds, or insurance to remain licensed. Check with your city authorities.

2. Business structure

You will also need to decide what form of business your company will take, for instance sole proprietorship, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). Applications, regulations, and tax requirements are different for each one. In generally, corporations and LLCs are distinct legal entities from the business owner, who can’t be sued for business debt. Decide what works best for you before filing any legal paperwork.

3. Weights and measures

Regulations are also in effect regarding weights and measures for any physical goods that are bought, sold, or produced. Weighing equipment such as scales, and including electronic weighing systems at point-of-sales terminals from places like Austech Weighing Pty Ltd, must be accurate to ensure fair and honest sales to customers. Also known as “legal metrology”, this ensures that customers receive the correct quantity that they paid for. Shorting customers could involve legal penalties.

4. Be in compliance

Keeping up with local, state, and federal regulations can be a challenge, but it’s essential that your business operates according to the law. Depending on what legal obligations you fail to meet, it could mean heavy fines, forfeiture of license, higher insurance premiums, and possibly even criminal charges or lawsuits. On top of that, it could mean serious damage to your brand and loss of customers.

5. Budget for legal expenses

Retaining an attorney to be sure all your legal requirements are satisfied can be an important part of your initial expenses, but it can provide peace of mind. Licenses and permits must be renewed, and certain organizations like corporations have to fulfill yearly requirements like shareholders’ meetings. Understand what the legal costs will be yearly, and budget for them.

Set aside more funds if you’d like to be able to retain an attorney again, should the need arise. Licensing and compliance are things that have to be kept up to date if you want to stay in business.

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About the Author

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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