Owning a business can be highly lucrative and particularly fulfilling. You get to build something from the ground up, watching the fruits of your labors grow as you create a successful, useful company. It can also be extremely demanding. When all is said and done, the buck stops with you. That means it is critical for you to understand the ins and outs of your industry. It is especially important to know about any applicable government agencies. Here are just a few.
Of course, any article about government agencies associated with business wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the IRS. IRS regulations can be convoluted, confusing, and lengthy, but it is well worth your time to understand them inside and out. You definitely don’t want to be caught operating outside business tax laws. You need to understand your business type, which taxes you are responsible for, and when they are due. It might be worth hiring a business accountant to take care of your taxes, just to free up your time and ensure that everything is filed correctly. If that isn’t a viable option, consider using tax software to make things a bit easier.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a branch of the United States Department of Labor charged with ensuring safe working conditions for all employees throughout the United States. They do this by setting and enforcing industry-specific standards, as well as by providing training and compliance assistance. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the OSHA is just for high-risk occupations, such as construction and roofing. There are regulations for all types of industry, and you should be familiar with those that apply to you. OSHA mandates that employers provide employees with a safe working environment.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for ensuring equality in the workplace. It formulates and enforces laws meant to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. There are laws around hiring, firing, harassment, wages, and more. In addition to investigating discrimination charges against employers, the EEOC also performs outreach and offers educational opportunities to assist with compliance.
As an employer, it is critical to stay within the law in all that you do. That is the only way to keep out of trouble and minimize the risk to yourself, your employees, and your company. Know which government agencies you are responsible for and familiarize yourself with the regulations within each of them. It may seem like an arduous task, but it is worth it.
Check out this article on what you need to avoid a lawsuit at your business!