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Laws That Small Business Owners Should Know

Written on January 8, 2020

Every new year there’s a new batch of laws that hits the books in Florida, and 2020 is no different. One statute is of particular importance to small business owners, and ABC Action News WFTS Tampa Bay outlined the details in a recent article. As of January 1, 2020, the state minimum wage will go from $8.46 to $8.56 per hour; the rate goes from $5.44 to $5.54 for tipped employees. Florida is one of eight states that automatically increases minimum wage based upon the annual cost of living, so it’s important to comply with a regulation that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

However, minimum wage is just of many other laws that you need to know to protect your interests as a small business owner. The legal impact of other laws may not be as obvious and they’re not likely to be part of the news headlines, so you should entrust a Clearwater, FL business law attorney with the details. To give you an idea about the range of legal issues, here are a few that should be on your radar.

  1. Employment Laws: Aside from the new minimum wage law, there are multiple statutes at the federal, state, and local levels that apply to businesses. You must pay overtime to employees that work more than 40 hours per week, at a rate of 1.5 times their normal salary.
  1. Tax Regulations: While you might focus on income taxes and the relevant withholdings for employees, there are multiple tax considerations to note. An attorney can explain more about taxes related to payroll, corporate income, property, and many others.
  1. Intellectual Property Issues: You do everything to protect your company’s trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, customer lists, and many other intellectual property interests. Other organizations do the same, so you should be aware of how your actions might infringe upon their interests.
  1. License and Permit Requirements: There are multiple regulations at the state and federal levels, but Florida counties and municipalities also impose requirements when you’re operating within their local jurisdictions. Noncompliance can lead to fines and other sanctions.
  1. Laws Regarding Fiduciary Duties: Individuals who hold fiduciary positions within your company have the duty to put the organization first. This obligation applies to board members, owners, and other stakeholders. If you take on one of these roles, you could be held accountable if you act in a way that conflicts with the interests of the business.

Stay in Compliance by Working with a Clearwater, FL Business Lawyer

These are just a few of the laws that affect Florida small business owners in 2020 and beyond. You’ll have more time to focus on running your company when you rely on a knowledgeable attorney for the details, so please contact Clearwater Business Law to learn more about our legal services. We represent clients in Pinellas County and the surrounding region in a wide range of business law matters, and we’re happy to help. You can reach our office at (727) 785-5100 today to schedule a consultation. 

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