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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. 


I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

- John Sams

As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis


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