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Understanding Business and Government Regulations

Aug 17, 2007
To ensure that the businesses are authentic and are discharging their social responsibilities, every government sets up rules and regulations at local, state, and federal levels. This article pertains to the businesses and government regulations in the US.

Government Rules and Regulations for Businesses
The rules vary from industry to industry due to the diversity of products and services offered by the market. Below are some of the general regulations the U.S. government observes.

Business structure: Several legal forms of organizational structure exist in the eyes of the government. These include Sole Proprietorship, Partnerships, Limited partnerships, C corporations, S corporations and Limited Liability Companies or LLC. You can make use of the services related to these through tax accountants and attorneys. Once you understand each business structure and the tax implications for each one of them, you analyze your capacity and adopt the organizational type suitable for you.

Business Name: According to The Trade Name Registration Act, if your business runs with a name other than the owner's you need to register the alias or the fictitious name with the county. Businesses run under a corporate name and the professionals, who work under a partnership name, are exempt from this type of name registration.

Business license: A business license gives the legality to your business operations in the area the license is applicable to. If your business is situated in the city then the city office gives you the license for the city. If it is located elsewhere, the county issues you the license.

Certificate of occupancy: If you plan to take up a building for your business, you need this certificate from the city or county department.

Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights: Businesses use commercial names and symbols for products and services. These commercial names and symbols are known as trademarks. State and federal institutions regulate the use of trademarks. In the case of any new and useful discovery, the businesses involved may protect their products and services under the US patent laws. Due to the technicality of patents, an attorney or agent registered with the US Patent Office only guides you about the whole process and represents your case in the US Patent Office. Copyright basically deals with protecting the ideas and artistic works of an artist such as, a writer, a music composer, a computer programmer, painter or any other artist's original work. Copying a copyright-protected work without permission of the owner is illegal.

Tax Structure: Employers must legally deduct federal income tax, state income tax, and Social Security Insurance from their employees' salaries. Businesses must pay income taxes and file tax returns to both the federal and the state governments.

Business Insurance: Business insurance protects the assets of your business against losses due to fire, theft, or anything else that's insured. Some common insurance types may include liability, property, automobile, office, and business income.
Sales Tax Number: Businesses get a sales tax number before starting and pay sales tax monthly to the state government for every tangible product they sell.

Human Resource Practices: The government issues guidelines to business houses to safeguard the interest of the companies, the employees, and the nation. The key areas for businesses to look at regarding their employees are immigration rules, the health and safety of the employees at the work place, employee compensation and salaries.

Additional Help
All this may seem overwhelming at first and there are software packages that can help you through the process of making certain your corporation is legitimate.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes afree weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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