Small Business Law

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Most Common Business Law Issues:

What Is a Small Business?

Small businesses are businesses that are owned and operated privately with a relatively low volume of sales and a small number of employees. U.S. small business standards vary by state and on an industry-by-industry business. Small businesses are becoming more popular due to the ease of operation, and because certain tax deductions for small businesses are commonly available.

Generally speaking, a small business is defined as having less than 500 employees for manufacturing industries and less than $7 million in annual income for non-manufacturing industries. Small businesses usually take the form of a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

What Types of Laws Govern Small Businesses?

The laws governing small businesses mostly cover license requirements related to the type of activity that the entity engages in. Failure to meet the legal requirements for small businesses can result in penalties such as fines, jail time, or a revocation of operation privileges. Licensing requirements can be further divided up into Federal, State, and Local requirements.

Federal Small Business requirements:

State Requirements:

Local/Municipal Requirements:

What Else Should I Consider When Starting a Small Business?

In addition to the above requirements, there are many restrictions on the type of start-up and formation procedures that a small business can take. For example, some learned professions may not be practiced using the form of a traditional corporation, but must incorporate using a modified “professional corporation” form. 

Finally, there are a variety of professional and ethical standards that may relate to your small business. Be sure that your operations are conducted according to these standards.

Do I Need a Small Business Lawyer?

If you plan to own, operate, or work in a small business, you may wish to contact a small business lawyer for advice. A small business lawyer will ensure that all the Federal, State, and local requirements are met. Lawyers are also available for representation in a court of law should any business disputes arise.

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Last Modified: 08-13-2014 10:56 AM PDT

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