8 government regulations business owners need to know (2023)

The government regulations and laws that you as a business owner must follow depend on your industry and location. However, there are some general categories of business rules that all business owners may encounter at some point. We'll walk you through some of the standard laws and regulations you need to follow to avoid problems.

  • Main types of trade regulations
  • Reasons for government regulation of the economy.
  • Impact of Government Regulations on Small Businesses in 2020
  • Frequently asked questions about government regulations

Main types of trade regulations

Here are some laws to consider whenTo start a business, no matter what kind of operation you want to perform.

  • Steer
  • Worker
  • occupation
  • Antimonopol
  • advertising
  • environmental regulations
  • privacy
  • licenses


losIRSrequires businesses to pay a variety of federal taxes. Herbusiness unit, as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation, determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. However, there are some general onesSteerwhich all entrepreneurs can expect regardless of their corporate structure:

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  • income tax: All companies exceptsocietiesYou must file an annual income tax return. Businesses that do not file separate tax returns report income on their owners' or shareholders' personal tax returns.
  • Estimated tax: If you expect to owe $1,000 or more ($500 for businesses) in taxes on your annual returns, you must make payments throughout the year as you receive income.
  • Self Employed Tax: Your self-employment tax contributes to your Social Security and Medicare benefits.
  • Income tax:If your company has employees, you must pay employment taxes, which include your employees' Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal income tax withholding, and federal unemployment tax.
  • consumer tax: You may be required to submit excise tax forms if you manufacture or sell certain products, e.g. B. fuel, or use certain types of equipment, e.g. B. Trucks driving on public roads.
State Taxes

They areConditionIt will raise its own taxes. Local property taxes for your city or county may also apply if your business owns real property such as vehicles, land, or buildings.


The Department of Labor (DOL) enforces more than180 federal laws governing the labor landscapeIn the USA, here is an overview of the most important mandates that apply to entrepreneurs:

  • wages and hours: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees at least the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (a higher minimum wage may apply in your state) unless an employee is otherwise exempt. The law also requires overtime pay to be one and a half times the regular rate.
  • safe workplace: The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) establishes health and safety requirements for most private companies and some government programs. Business owners must pass workplace inspections and investigations to comply with regulations.
  • Employee bonus: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates retirement plans or benefits. If your company provides them, you must meet reporting requirements and fund an insurance scheme to protect them.advantages.
  • family holiday: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of employment-protected leave in the event of the birth or adoption of a child or serious illness of an employee or his or her spouse's child, or parent. The federal government generally does not require employers to provide paid leave, but some states have required it.
Health insurance

The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to report their health insurance offerings to the IRS annually. Employers must provide affordable minimum insurance to comply with the regulations.

Employees vs. Contractors

Federal law governs how corporationsClassify your workers, but several states have tightened their rules, making workers more likely to be considered employees rather than independent contractors, or imposing higher penalties for violating federal regulations.


losUS Commission on Equal Employment Opportunityprevents discrimination in the workplace, but your state may impose additional regulations. Business owners must comply with anti-discrimination laws based on the number of employees they have. Here are some of the EEOC laws employers face:

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  • same salary: Male and female workers have the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • anti-discrimination: Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, age or genetic information.
  • accommodations: Business owners must provide employees with reasonable accommodation based on their disabilities or religious beliefs.
  • anti-retaliation: Business owners must not retaliate against employees or job applicants for reporting any form of discrimination or participating in a discrimination proceeding against the company.
  • data reports: The EEOC requires companies with 100 or more employees to submit an annual report detailing the ethnicity, race and gender of employees.


federal antitrust lawsProhibit companies from restricting competition in the market. Maintaining competition gives companies an incentive to keep quality and prices low, which ultimately benefits consumers. States may enforce additional antitrust laws based on federal laws. Federal antitrust laws prohibit the following business conduct:

  • Price fixing conspiracy. Businesses cannot work together to set prices, share markets, or manipulate bids.
  • dishonest or fraudulent acts. Businesses must not engage in unfair or deceptive competitive strategies.
  • form a monopoly. Companies are prohibited from entering into mergers or acquisitions with the intention of reducing competition by creating a monopoly.


Die Federal Trade Commission (FTC)enforces laws regulating advertising and marketing. Businesses must remain truthful in advertising and not engage in deceptive practices. Business owners must meet a number of requirements related to the following aspects of marketing:

  • medical statement: Companies that market food, over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and other health-related products must support their claims with solid evidence.
  • Surrounding Advertising: Scientific evidence must support any mention of "green" products or packaging.
  • Made in America: Before promoting US-made products, companies must disclose how much of their product is actually made in the US.
  • Online Advertising: Businesses must adhere to truthful standards on the Internet. Ditto for what you might include in physical marketing such as: B. Banner advertising or catalogues.
  • Telemercadeo: The FTC prohibits fraudulent telemarketing calls and most forms of robocalls.

Also theLey CAN-SPAMestablishes the requirements for commercial communications and protects the right of recipients to opt-out of receiving messages. Any business that uses email marketing must comply with this law.

Many states also enforce laws regulating advertising. Regulations often take the form of consumer fraud or deceptive practice laws. State or local officials can take legal action against illegal advertising.

environmental regulations

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires companies to comply with environmental standards based on the industry in which they operate. For example, automotive companies may need to comply with waste and pollutant management regulations. Find the regulatory information for your industryon the EPA website.

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Businesses must comply with state business regulations that protect thisprivacy of your customers. Here are some examples of when business owners may need to take additional steps in the name of privacy:

  • children's privacy: The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regulates the information companies are allowed to collect from children. Websites must provide parents with an opportunity to consent to the collection of their children's personal information.
  • Consumer Privacy: Businesses should have a privacy policy that protects consumers' personal information and clearly explains how the business uses customer data.
  • credit reports: Businesses that check customers' creditworthiness must follow proper procedures for use and disposalcredit reports.
  • Employee privacy: Many companies are required by law to protect the personal data of their employees.
  • financial services: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires companies that offer financial products or services to disclose their information sharing practices.
State Privacy Laws

States may enact their own data protection laws. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 gives consumers the right to delete certain personal information that companies may collect from them.


Depending on their industry and location, business owners may be required to maintain federal, state, or local small business licenses, permits, or certifications to comply with the law.

For example, companies that sell items such as tobacco or alcohol may need to periodically renew their sales permits as these products are highly regulated. Professional service providers such as plumbers or nurses may need to obtain specific certifications and licenses.

Contact your local business registration office to find out what documents you need and what your renewal requirements are. Depending on your industry, you may also need to register your business with a federal agency or department, such as the B. the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Taxation and Trade or the US Department of Agriculture.

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Reasons for government regulation of the economy.

The US government enforces regulations to protect workers' rights and protect the environment. These regulations also obligate companies for their power and influence in society.

Extensive regulations can help or hurt companies. But in any case, all companies are subject to the same standards and must adhere to similar rules to protect health and safety and maintain fair competition in the marketplace.

However, several groups, such as the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Chamber of Commerce, advocate regulatory reform. This reform is intended to reduce federal agency overreach and minimize the cost of various compliance requirements.

Impact of Government Regulations on Small Businesses in 2020

Here are some regulatory changes you may have missed this year.

  • minimum wage increases: Losminimum wageIt rose in several states this year, including Arizona, California and Florida. You can findyour state's minimum wage requirementson the DOL website.
  • State Tax Changes: Taxes related to business income or general business income were restated in a handful of states in 2020, including Connecticut and Florida. Here is a summary of state tax changesthe tax foundationwhich also keeps track of every stateBusiness tax environment.
  • Prevention of workplace bullying: New laws in several states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois and New York, aim to broaden the requirements for employers to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. For more information on the federal harassment guidelines, click herefrom the EEOC.
  • Extension of paid sick leave: As answer toCoronavirus Pandemiethe DOL issued temporary regulations to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. You couldContinue readingvia the temporary arrangement on the DOL website.
  • Extension of eligibility for overtime: The DOL expanded the thresholds required to qualify for overtime pay. More than 100,000 workers are entitled to overtime pay due toincreased remuneration requirements.

Business regulations are constantly changing and it is important for business owners to stay current with these updates in order to remain compliant. Be sure to monitor the federal and state agencies that regulate your specific industry so as not to be left behind.

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Frequently asked questions about government regulations

How are government regulations set?

Congress passes legislation that affects almost every aspect of American life, including the American economy. Federal agencies have the power to enforce these laws through regulations. State legislatures, in turn, make laws that usually supplement federal legislation. Examples of state government regulations include setting a minimum wage that is higher than the federal requirement.

What are the benefits of government regulation?

Government regulations, by definition, are rules that we all must follow or face penalties for. They can often seem like a nuisance to small business owners, but they also have benefits. Regulation can sometimes create new industries to help other companies comply. It can often protect companies in difficult economic situations. In addition, it offers support through thick and thin in the form ofgovernment loans, information and services.


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