Small businesses are privately run corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have fewer employees and / or less annual revenue than an average-sized corporation or business. These companies usually exist for the sole purpose of generating an income, increasing profits, or using the business as a means to generate income for the owner. In recent years, small business owners have increasingly turned to online trading as a way to earn additional revenue. Online trading is the process of buying and selling items over the Internet, instead of having the items shipped to you. There are many business owners who want to use online trading as a way to earn an extra income; however, small business laws and regulations can be very complex and a small business novice can become overwhelmed with the legal demands placed upon them by the various government and legislative agencies.
The first thing you must understand is what constitutes a small business. Typically, small businesses fall under one of four different categories. Independent Professional Services: These small businesses employ fewer than 10 employees and do most of their business transactions online. Examples include freelance web designers, copywriters, data entry services, and programmers. Incorporated: These small businesses combine several of the other types of small businesses into one. For example, an insurance company could incorporate as an insurance brokerage firm, and a financial company could incorporate as a bank.
Generally, small businesses fall into one of three categories: sole proprietors, partnerships, and cooperatives. A sole proprietor is a single person who owns and runs the business. Partnerships are groups of people who share in the profits and losses of a business. Examples of cooperative businesses are bakeries and cleaning services. A cooperatively owned business may also have voting stock and be owned outright by the cooperative.
Unfortunately, small business owners need to be extremely aware of the laws governing their respective states in which they do business. There are many laws regarding taxation and many complex issues regarding intellectual property rights, corporate identity, and licensing that must be understood. Because of this, many small business owners hire attorneys to help them with these issues. An attorney’s office can provide a good source of information for any laws that may be of concern to your specific situation. Your state or local government may even have a law library where law firms and attorneys can research various laws.
Another important area of concern for small businesses is social media and technology. Today, many small businesses use social media and the Internet to build a strong customer base and promote their products and services. Unfortunately, there are also many law firms that specialize only in social media and technology laws. They will be able to offer valuable insight into the many technical issues that surround this growing area of business.
Technology is another area of growing importance for many small businesses. Many businesses rely on websites, blogs, and online communities to communicate with customers and clients. Unfortunately, some businesses have become well known for internet fraud and other types of cyber-harassment. While there are strict laws in place to prevent this type of behavior, the damage that can occur is far reaching and very real. Law firms that are skilled in handling cases such as these are essential for online businesses.
Business mergers and acquisitions are yet another area of growing importance for many small businesses. When companies buy other companies, they sometimes try to take control of important functions from the company and run them as themselves. This can have a dramatic effect on many employees and consumers. Law firms can help small businesses that are struggling with mergers and acquisitions deal with the bureaucracy of the acquiring company.
It can be overwhelming for many small business owners. The growth of small businesses is due to the fact that they were able to use their resources effectively. However, dealing with too many regulations or complexities can prevent them from doing so. Law firms can help by providing legal advice and assistance to all types of small businesses.