As a small business owner, you’ll be responsible for keeping the company compliant with various laws from a local to a federal level. Some of these requirements are intended for your own record-keeping, while others will be reported to the government and other external agencies.
Depending on your business structure, you may have different rules to follow in terms of your internal requirements. For corporations, which have shareholders and several management parties involved, keeping organized documentation of all business decisions and transactions is mandatory.
For LLCs, business owners don’t have the same regulations, but it’s recommended to keep your documents and records updated, especially when there are changes or adjustments.
Other business structures like sole proprietorships have very few formal requirements, but it’s still recommended to maintain your records to help you measure business growth.
Beyond the internal workings of your business, you’ll probably have required reports to make to your state and federal governments. Again, these will depend on your business structure and location, but some of the essentials include:
- Annual Statements or Reports: Corporations and LLCs will typically be required to submit these annual reports so that their state governments can keep track of their financial information and activity. To submit these statements, you’ll usually be required to pay a fee that can range from about $10 to beyond $300.
- Franchise Tax: Some states expect corporations and LLCs to pay for operating, called a franchise tax. The amount will depend on what elements each state uses to calculate the fee.
Articles of Amendment: With any important change in your small business, like your name, address, or membership, you’ll need to report this information to your state government.
- Licenses and Permits: Depending on your industry, keeping your licenses, permits, and certificates renewed is another requirement to consider. Make sure that you’re maintaining all of the documents that you’ve been granted by your local government.
- Federal Taxes: On a federal level, the main obligation you’ll have is to pay taxes (covered in Module 7). To learn about the tax requirements that apply to your small business, visit your Secretary of State’s website and contact your local government offices. For additional assistance and advice, small business owners like you can benefit from a variety of local resources such as SCORE mentorship and other programs sponsored by the Small Business Administration.
If you have employees, make sure your business complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and other regulations for workers. The specifics will vary state by state, so make sure you’re aware of the ones that apply to you.
Some enforced regulations actually don’t require you to file any documents, so be sure not to overlook them. These can apply to advertising, copyright, health and safety in the workplace, and other elements of your business.
To avoid any extra costs and complications, making sure that your business is compliant with various requirements will help you grow your operations smoothly. To support stable expansion, you might find that you’ll need some additional funds. That’s where a low-cost, long-term SBA loan comes in. At SmartBiz Loans®, we match you with the lender who’s most likely to approve your unique application. Our streamlined, online application makes the process quicker and easier. Get started today!