Business law is the law that governs what happens with commercial matters, and there are two main types: regulation of commercial entities and regulation of commercial transactions. Laws have evolved over centuries, and have had to adapt to changes in technology and society.
Types of Business Law
Here are some of the most common types of business law:
Especially in today’s modern workplace, it is vital for any company with even one employee to stay abreast of current employment laws. Are you required to offer health insurance or workers’ comp insurance? Has your business discriminated against an employee, or stood by while one employee committed sexual harassment against another? There are many areas where your company could face major financial liability, not to mention the potential loss of reputation when treating employees unfairly.
There are more and more occasions where immigration law becomes an issue in modern businesses. Temporary employees, full-time employees, and special event workers may be from other countries. You need to know if you are following the law when dealing with foreign labor.
Consumer Goods Sales
The Uniform Commercial Code contains the laws governing financial transactions in the United States. The Code deals with everything from contracts to fraud to leases to secure transactions. Ambitious in its aim to consolidate the laws in one place, the Code is actually quite complex. Lawyers spend a lot of time learning about how to apply the UCC to actual business practice and can give businesses advice on how to stay compliant with the laws while staying productive.
Whether for a property lease or for a product sale, contracts help make sure that the parties who are making a deal are on the same page. Attorneys can help make sure your best interests are represented when your business enters into a contract.
Antitrust laws help make sure the different businesses in a marketplace are operating on a level playing field. Some companies use unfair or deceptive practices in order to get a larger share of the market, and it may be difficult to identify unfair behavior in your own company. A business lawyer can help you make sure that your business is operating ethically while helping protect you from unfair actions by other companies.
Businesses may need to patent unique products in order to protect that work in the marketplace. Otherwise, anyone could sell a product your company worked hard to make. Copyright laws will protect creative work, and you will need to file for protection if your business is identified by a unique logo.
Businesses may have to pay and/or figure several kinds of taxes:
- Income taxes for the profits of the company, which may be paid as personal income taxes for sole proprietorships or single-person LLCs or through a partnership business tax return. Partners earning profit from a business must report that income personally, too.
- Sales tax on services and/or products. Every state has different rules and there may be further complications when sales across state lines. If your business has a state income tax, you will probably be required to set up a system to collect, report, and pay the taxes you collect on a regular basis.
- Property tax on any real estate owned by your business. You may end up paying capital gains tax if you sell a business-owned property.
- Self-employment taxes, so that business owners will still pay into Social Security and Medicare. Normally employers take those taxes out of their employees’ paychecks.
- Employment or payroll taxes, including FICA taxes for Social Security and Medicare and workers’ compensation taxes.
- Dividend taxes on corporate shareholders. This is a kind of income tax based on the profits received from the business.
- Excise taxes on certain products your business uses, like fuel.
Sometimes businesses are forced into a bad situation because of circumstances beyond their control. There are several kinds of options, with different requirements and filings. Business lawyers can help find the best solution to what seems an impossible problem and will have experience with the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Business Law Examples
Here are just a few examples of how attorneys can help your business:
Business law attorneys can give you advice when you are starting your company as to how to form and register your company. You will need to choose your business structure and decide how and where your business will operate. Your attorney will help make sure your business is protected from the beginning.
Unless you have some experience with legal terminology, you may not understand all the complicated terms in a contract. Sometimes parties will try to take advantage of you by inserting clauses which are against your best interest or even changing the terms of the contract. Your attorney will make sure your rights and interests are protected.
Many businesses don’t think to get an attorney involved until there is a lawsuit, but having an attorney assist with how your business operates can help you avoid many lawsuits. Sometimes a lawsuit is inevitable, and your attorney will work to mitigate the damage to your business. You may want to negotiate a settlement or go to trial and deny liability entirely, and your attorney will help you get through the complicated process of trial litigation.
Cronus Law, PLLC proudly serves the residents, families, and businesses in and around Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding cities. Our attorneys have experience solving a wide variety of legal problems in many areas of civil and criminal law. If you need a flexible and knowledgeable attorney to help find a creative solution to your real estate problems, please feel free to call us at (480) 467-3188 or visit our website, so you can see our areas of practice and learn more about our attorneys.