Overtime protections were first put into place by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and established the general standard that workers be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. In general, all hourly employees are guaranteed overtime, and salaried employees are presumed to have the same guarantee unless they both: (1) make more than a salary threshold set by the Department of Labor, and (2) pass a test demonstrating that they primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties.
An ever-popular method for small businesses to acquire some extra—albeit temporary—hands on deck is to hire interns. Typically college students with similar career aspirations are eager to gain some real life experience, or at minimum a few lines for the old resume. So, with motivated college students at the ready to perform some of the more mundane tasks that small businesses have to deal with, owners are understandably eager to jump at the chance to bring in some free—or at least low cost—young workers.
The prospect of hiring workers, while exciting, can be intimidating to new business owners, Employment law can be a confusing and time-consuming minefield, and the consequences of making a mistake can range from costly to financially devastating. Generally, employers must consider a number of new responsibilities, including withholding income taxes, paying Social Security and Medicare taxes,unemployment tax and insurance not to mention the bevy of registration and compliance requirements at the local, state and federal level.
I advise a number of businesses that are just starting out and looking to establish themselves in some competitive markets. While they come to me to help them sort out legal issues associated with starting a business, as a small business owner myself, I always enjoy sharing my story and what I've learned operating my still-very-young business from a business standpoint as well.
The licenses and permits you will need to operate your business vary widely depending on your location and type of business. However, there are a few items that will be necessary for nearly all new businesses.
Every business owner thinks about how his or her company will grow from a small entrepreneurial idea, to a budding business, to something sustainable and long-lasting. Employees are almost certainly part of that process. But, for many small business owners, employment law is a complex web of seemingly endless laws and regulations which can easily trip up even the savviest and cautious business owner leading to unwanted and often costly consequences. So what’s a small business owner to do? Well, a few things come to mind.
LLCs are all the rage these days, but did you know that even without formally forming a business, like an LLC or corporation, you may very well be operating a business without even considering it as a business. For example, do you have an Etsy shop? Cut the neighbors’ lawns around the neighborhood? Sell things on eBay? Babysit? Do freelance writing? If so, you have a business, and it’s called a sole proprietorship.
Each year brings with it various changes to federal tax laws. Navigating all of those changes can be daunting, especially if you have little experience or knowledge about tax outside of filing income tax returns for yourself or your family.
From new taxes to modified contributions limits and filing limits, here are a number of federal tax law changes to know for 2014 (tax year 2013).
New business owners typically need to find a commercial space out of which to run their company. In today’s economy, there is no shortage of options, especially in Midwest cities hit particularly hard by the downturn (I’m looking at you Milwaukee). But, finding the space best suited for the new business is just the beginning. Once a space is found, it will be necessary to sign a lease for the space, and this is where any new business owner needs to pay close attention to what he is and is not agreeing to.
I’ve written a lot about starting a new business and the legal challenges that any new entrepreneur must consider when turning an initial idea into a buildable business concept, trends I see taking off in 2013, how to give your new business a legal kick start, tools to operate an efficient business in the beginning stages and num