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Category Archives: Business & Employment

Business and Employment lawyers provide a variety of services to business, employees and employers. This practice area help you with include this law.


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Litigation Cases That Small Business Owners Face on a Daily Basis

All small business owners take pride in the success of their businesses. For most business owners, it not only took blood, sweat, and tears, but it also took several failed attempts and almost going completely broke. But the moment they tasted success, every struggle was well worth it.

Unfortunately, with running a business, there’s the aspect of risk as well. One of the biggest fears of successful business owners is to endure the painstaking process of an expensive, drawn-out lawsuit. According to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, litigation for small businesses cost them over $100 billion every year. In 2016 alone, the US tort system hit a high of $429 billion.

That number is pretty astounding, but that just goes to show you just how risky it can be in running a business. Granted, some of the lawsuits are fair and just, there are also lawsuits that small businesses lose to people who sue businesses solely for financial gain.

As a business owner, this is a risk you’ll face every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to walk around on eggshells out of fear that someone will sue you. Ultimately, prevention is key and knowledge is power.

Business lawsuits typically fall into three different categories:

  • Your business will be sued by an employee
  • Your business will be sued by a customer or client
  • Your business will be sued by another business

By knowing the different types of lawsuits you’re up against, you can operate your business in a way that lowers your risk of legal action. In addition to taking the necessary efforts to avoid litigation, it’s important to know you can’t avoid it completely. Accidents happen and there’s just no way around it.

The best thing you can do as a preventive measure in protecting your business against litigation is to make sure you invest in small business insurance. Based on the type of business you have, you can find a policy with the coverage you need.

If you’re a small business owner and haven’t yet endured the stress of facing a business lawsuit, that’s wonderful news… keep up the great work. But it’s important that you at least make yourself aware of the types of lawsuits you have the potential to be up against.

It’s not a matter of if it will happen… it’s a matter of when it will happen.

Most Common Lawsuits Small Business Owners Face On a Daily Basis

Slip and Fall Accidents

If you are the owner of a brick-and-mortar store, your business is automatically at risk for a slip and fall accident. These accidents typically happen due to wet or slick surfaces resulting in serious injuries like broken bones, blunt force to the head, or a nosedive to the face.

Losing slip and fall cases can cost businesses upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make sure you have an insurance policy in place that covers this type of damage whether it’s an employee or customer

Employee Discrimination

Workplace discrimination against employees based on their age, disability, race, sex, pregnancy status, and religion are all grounds for an employee to take legal action just the same as if an employee sufferers damages from wrongful termination or not receiving overtime pay.

Yes, some employees will invoke whistleblower cases but they’re not very common simply because most people want and need to work. It’s in your best interest that in running your business, you treat all employees with the same respect as anyone else.

Breach of Contract

If you’re being sued for breach of contract that means that you’re being sued because you failed to carry out your terms of a contract or didn’t complete your terms of a contract. This type of litigation typically happens from another business. This can be due to failure to pay or deliver, delivering damaged products, etc.

As a business owner conducting business with other businesses, do everything in your power to maintain professionalism. Whatever you agreed to do in your contract, make sure you uphold your responsibilities to prevent any confusion and legal action.

Intellectual Property Rights

Whether it’s your company name, logo, or slogan, there’s the potential that another business will say that you stole it from them. To protect your business, you definitely want to make sure you have patents and copyrights in place but you may also want to get assistance with an air-tight non-disclosure agreement, and for online businesses, get an exact match domain name.

Customer Discrimination

Customer discrimination is a bit of a tricky and delicate area. With businesses, your main focus and goal are to make and keep your customers happy. But the moment you’re not able to give them what they want, they can sue you for discrimination if they felt they were being discriminated against but especially if they know you did something special for another customer and wouldn’t do the same for them.

As far as discrimination goes, the best rule to abide by with your business is to treat all customers equally. If you’ve been in the business long enough, you know how demanding customers can be, and if they witness or experience inequality in your services, it can be extremely costly for your business.

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6 Laws Small Business Owners Should Know

As a small business owner, your main priority is the success of your business. The last thing you want to receive is a court summons. Not only are lawsuits time-consuming, but they are expensive and could mean an end to a small business. The major reason small business owners receive lawsuits is due to ignorance. Unfortunately, ignorance can still be legally penalized.

We will be looking at three major laws you should know of if you are a small business owner.

Check the laws that should know

Trademark Law

Apart from Tax Law, Trademark Law is another law you shouldn’t mess around with. In fact, it is the first law you should be familiar with because it will guide you in choosing a business name. A business name might sound good to you and may look unique because you painstakingly brainstormed before running with it. You may be surprised to learn that another business already uses the same name. Therefore, setting up your business with that name could land you in trouble, especially if the other person using the same business name had already registered the name. Business names are not the only thing that can be registered. Logos and mottos could be registered as well. It is important that you check the secretary of state website to see if the name, logo, and motto you intend to use are available.If you are not sure about the process,you can seek professional help locally or on online platforms.

Tax Law

One season that business owners dread the most is the tax season. It is not the most comfortable time for businesses, especially small ones because filing taxes incorrectly usually comes with serious ramifications. If there is anything you should take your time and read, it is tax laws and regulations. There is a need for you to familiarize yourself with both federal and state tax laws. It will guide you on the structure to choose when setting up your business. There is a difference between an S-corporation and a limited liability company because their taxes are different. As a small business owner, you can find all you need to know from the IRS about the types of business taxes that are applicable.

Employment Law

You should not begin hiring people without first knowing the employment laws that apply in your state. A lawyer is always your best bet when you need to find out accurate information on employment for your state of residence. Things like anti-discrimination, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, payroll, and withholding taxes are some of the things you should be aware of before employing new hands to avoid unnecessary lawsuits.

Small Business

Some Important Acts to Note

Family and Medical Leave Act

As your business grows, you may consider employing more people to help manage it. Although we have mentioned employment law, you should also be aware of the rules and regulations that guide such employment. This is where you will find the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is part of federal law that protects employees and allows them to take leave without having to lose their jobs. No matter how much you may want an employee to keep working, if the employee just gave birth, is battling with a health ailment, or is caring for a loved one with a health challenge, this act protects the employee from losing his or her position in your establishment while they are away. You must allow such employees some time off with compensation to avoid getting a lawsuit. This guideline from the Department of Labor will assist you.

CAN-SPAM Act

This law has to do with regulating commercial emails that solicit customer patronage with deceptive subject lines. It states that the subject line must convey precisely what is contained in the message. It must include the sender’s business location as well as a physical postal address. It must also have an option for the recipient to opt-out. Failure to abide by this act can amount to penalties to the tune of $42,530.

Truthful Advertising and Marketing

This is another federal law like CAN-SPAM Act and demands that all advertising and marketing efforts of a business must be truthful. Every advertisement claim must be backed up with substantial proof. It is even more paramount when the message is targeted at children or makes use of endorsements.

We hope that these laws and acts will guide you when you are starting your small business. It pays to go through and understand all the laws and acts that apply to you because ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law.

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During COVID-19 Keep Business Legally Safe

Businesses and shops have got them ‘We’re Closed’ signs permanently turned. The ‘we’re open’ part isn’t about to happen any time soon. It’s a bizarre, eerie feeling and the hive of activity as we know it is gone – and for how long?

Travel has been postponed and supply chains disrupted and Mayor Carlos Gimenez in Miami, Florida has ordered a permanent close-down unless your business is offering some kind of essential service. That means for many businesses there is nothing flowing into it and nothing flowing out.

What has your insurance policy got to say now and how are they reacting to businesses closing because of COVID-19?

Check your business policy now

Can businesses hope for some kind of reprieve?  Certainly, you should check your business insurance policy just to see what it says about business interruption coverage. You want to know where to look to offset losses and your insurance may well provide some sort of relief and different kinds of coverages.

For any businesses suffering losses and looking for coverage, this coronavirus time requires having experienced coverage advice. If there is a glimmer of hope for your business you need to know about it, and if your claim is ignored or denied, you need to know of someone in these horrendous times who can help you. You want to recover compensation for your business, and you want to get in early too before the glut begins.

Get help with understanding insurance lingo

As it is, like all insurance, business insurance is governed by the language of the policy, and for instance, the business interruption coverage in some insurance policies actually requires physical damage to or loss of the property that is covered.

If you’re at a loss and you don’t understand what your insurer is trying to say about commercial property insurance and coverage for any suspension of a business as a result of Coronavirus, you need someone with property claims adjusting and legal representation experience on your side. This is because as far as you can see the virus hasn’t caused direct damage to your insured property and you don’t know what it all means for you and your business.

Some business insurance policies have endorsements that cover business interruptions that haven’t been caused by physical damage to your commercial property, and this can extend coverage to the likes of disease and canceled booking.

Insurance policies for businesses that have this sort of an endorsement will allow the policyholder to perhaps have a glimmer of hope that their business has been interrupted because of COVID-19 and that it should be covered under the policy.

Go for compensation now!

Don’t wait and wonder – take action now and get help for your floundering business. After all your insurer has got an attorney working with them to ensure you don’t get compensation so that means you need a stronger attorney working for you. Make sure your business insurance claim is in good hands and do something now if you need compensation.

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Top 5 Professional Lawyer Business Cards Tips

There are over 1.3 million lawyers in the US. In such a crowded field, how does your firm stand out?

Getting noticed, attracting new clients, and securing repeat business is essential for all lawyers. One way to help with this is to stand out with your business card.

A professional lawyer business card makes a strong first impression and helps you be remembered. Using a well-designed business card and implementing countless networking tips can catapult your career in the legal industry. But how can you create a memorable and impressive card? Do you have any idea of where and how you can start?

Read on for five top tips for designing your legal business card

1. Use Your Firm’s Colors

Branding is important for any business, and law is no exception. Design your business card using the colors of your firm. This will help build brand association and recognition. If your firm doesn’t have colors, considering keeping the color palette simple, such as black and white.

If you have a company logo, you can consider adding this as well, if it complements the design and isn’t a distraction on the card.

2. Be Professional

Looking professional on your attorney business cards should be your first consideration. Clients trust lawyers for their expertise, advice, and experience, so you want to demonstrate this on your cards. If possible, try to look professional, without being intimidating — you still want to look approachable to new clients and contacts.

You can also stand out by selecting a thicker card stock, which feels more substantial than a flimsier material.

Here are some business card design ideas to help you get started.

3. Select an Easy to Read Font for Your Lawyer Business Card

From a design perspective, business cards aren’t the time to get creative. Ignore the artistic and cursive fonts out there and go for something easy to read, simple, and minimalist.

The point of business cards is to make it easy for new clients to reach you, so make it as easy as possible for them by designing your card in a way that’s easy to read.

Popular font choices for business cards include Helvetica, Nevis, and Code.

4. Avoid Images

Gimmicky or cute images should always be avoided. You want to be taken seriously. Business cards are always small, so there’s no need for your photo, a clip-art image of the justice scales, or another unneeded image.

Other than perhaps your company logo, try to leave clean, open space on your card, focusing on the essential information only.

5. Keep it Simple

A minimalist look is always good for legal business cards. Law is a serious and important topic, and you are a trusted expert in this field. This should be reflected in your business card.

Inclusions can include your name, qualifications, firm name, address, and contact details, but don’t need much more than that.

A bold, minimalist card will stand out much more than one that appears crowded and busy.

Get Started

Now that you have some helpful ideas for your lawyer business card design, you can get started creating eye-catching and professional cards that will help with networking and attracting new clients.

Did you find this article useful? If so, please browse some of our other helpful content.

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5 Rules for Protecting Your Small Business from Legal Fallouts

When running any small business, there’s the potential for problems to flare up and become legal issues if you’re not too careful. To avoid your business plans getting derailed, it pays to set up ways to mitigate or remove certain business risks where possible.

For the smoother running of your business, it’s necessary to follow a few simple rules to ward off obvious potential problems before they occur.

Here are 5 rules to use as a small business

1.      Check the Trademark Registry

Before using a brand or company name, it’s important to verify whether there’s an existing trademark under that name.

A trademark can be a design such as a logo, or it may be a trading name. Generally speaking, you should avoid trading using a name that’s the same, similar, or could be confused with another brand in the marketplace. While for smaller companies with a trademark, avoiding using their registered mark in the same line of business is sufficient, for conglomerates with wide-ranging business interests, they may take objection to the use of the name regardless of the marketplace.

To avoid needing to re-register a different name, start again, and smooth over ruffled corporate feathers, checking that the selected name is free avoids headaches. The TESS database search is a quick way to do a spot check.

2.      Organize a Terms and Conditions Statement

A Terms and Conditions document broadly lays out the terms and certain conditions that the business is working under. Typically, the T&Cs are seen on a website or app to clarify what the business aims to provide and under what circumstances.

The idea is to cover the ins and outs of what will happen, how data is collected, how data is used, whether cookies on a computer are activated, and how analytical and/or advertising systems may track your activity.

The best way to create this type of document is to use a systematic approach. You can click here to find the best terms and conditions generator, which makes the process painless. Then you can add the T&C statement to your website very fast.

3.      Use Written Contracts

Everything is up to interpretation. People hear different things even with a verbal agreement and form different beliefs about what was agreed upon. As such, two parties can have a very different idea about what was decided and there’s often no proof because it was a verbal agreement. This leads to problems with a so-called “Handshake agreement” especially as the details of the deal points become more complex.

Whether dealing with a client, service provider or another party, a contract broadly lays out what is expected of both parties, who agrees to pay what, and what the purpose of the engagement is. Contracts should remove any ambiguity over who is taking responsibility for certain aspects, which reduces the potential for legal issues should a dispute occur later.

4.      Incorporate the Business

While incorporation in its various forms is not a direct way to avoid a lawsuit per se, what it does do is provide some degree of extra protection.

The alternative is trading under your name. This is problematic for a variety of reasons, including failing to limit the potential legal liability should something go wrong.

Remember, you don’t have to have done anything wrong to get sued. Other companies or individuals can decide they feel wronged – whether that’s factually true or not – and the cost of defending or settling a case can be prohibitively expensive.

When trading as a business and not under your name, usually your assets are ring-fenced and business assets separated. This affords a reasonable amount of protection from business activities.

5.      Get Insurance

Having business liability insurance protects companies from some of the cost of lawsuits because an insurance company offers cover. These policies may protect against someone on the business premises slipping, falling and injuring themselves. They may also provide considerably more protection depending on the clauses included in the insurance policy.

Insurance is relatively inexpensive to take out for most types of business operations. There are also several types worth exploring depending on the type of business that you’re actively running. Get as much as necessary to protect the underlying business.

As long as you do what’s necessary to protect the business, then it avoids making mistakes of omission that can be the most problematic.

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Here Are 4 Legal Mistakes You Must Never Commit as a Business Owner

Living an entrepreneurial life day-in-day-out is a dream come true. It’s one of the fascinating chances to lead a fulfilling life as you wake up to an exciting activity as you impact positively in people’s lives. There are lots of details that go into being a decorated business owner. Running a successful enterprise requires utmost precision during the development, building as well as managing ace for the business to flourish. In a rather seemingly busy endeavour, it’s easy to overlook certain aspects. It’s quite unfortunate that the legal matters are often receiving a back seat.

The legal mistakes are mainly

§  wrong enterprise structures

With so many business structures, you can choose one that suits your immediate needs. However, it would be best if you were cautious as each arrangement comes with its advantages as well as drawbacks. Seeking experienced entrepreneurial advice on the best structure to pursue isn’t enough. It would help if you had legal help before making this substantial decision.

§  Sloppy records

With a tight schedule to ensure everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to overlook the record-keeping department. It’s a very grave mistake which makes you vulnerable to future legal predicaments. For any incorporated enterprise it’s essential to have proper records at all times. It’ll ultimately act as a protective shield while you intend to protect yourself from any liabilities. Adequate records are very crucial more so when you plan to expand or sell your enterprise in the coming years. It’s also a way to ensure that all your taxes are in order. Thus, you won’t face any tax law predicament that might arise.

§  The handshake affair

As a smart and detailed entrepreneur, you mustn’t be hasty when sealing business partnership deals. Any verbal agreement or handshake deal can cost you your entire business more so in the absence of a legal attorney. You need not take every person’s word for it as some are business predators. With a professional lawyer by your side, you can become assured of the best deal. Each aspect that you want to undertake needs to be in pen and ink. Thus, in case you have to settle any dispute, you have everything in writing.

§  Employment issues

Watching a business flourish to a point where one can hire other people is quite thrilling. It’s because staff workers are exciting lot and you need to be ready for anything, including legal liabilities. You ought to be extra careful and bring an attorney on board to enable you to formulate company policy structure. They will also assist you with any union regulations, harassment legal lawsuits, among other items. The employment sector in an enterprise is very delicate, and if you aren’t careful, your enterprise might be on the risky receiving end of the law. You must seek legal services for small business to have a surefire legal strategy at all times.

The repercussions of ignoring the legal aspect of your enterprise are very grave. Thus, you need to rise above the norm from other business owners and seek legal services for small business. It’s an opportunity where your enterprise operation doesn’t get affected, which might ultimately lead to a bad rep and in worst-case scenario closure.

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State-Wise PE License Requirements

When you are getting close to the end of your university engineering program, you have a choice to make – will you pursue your PE (professional engineer) license or take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam? Or, are you going to skip this step altogether?

If you take and pass the FE exam, you face another choice – after four years of being an Engineer-in-Training, you have to decide if you will receive the PE exam (Principles of Practice of Engineering Exam), or pass this opportunity.

While you may not want to pursue the PE license, there are some benefits. However, before moving forward, understanding the PE license requirements is a must.

Understanding Licensure in the U.S.

In the United States, the engineering profession is regulated by licensing boards. These exist in each US territory and state. The licensing boards have set high standards for professional engineers to help protect the general public.

If you plan to practice fire protection engineering and work as a consultant, or if you want to work for a firm that requires the presence of a registered PE, it’s smart to follow a path that leads to you acquiring the professional engineering registration.

Additionally, modern employers put a value on engineers who have earned this license. Some require licensure for a promotion, and PEs will usually result in higher salaries.

Since FPE is related to public safety, the state laws have required that some engineering projects be managed by a registered and licensed PE. The professional engineer registration is given by the state registration boards based on a written exam, professional experience, and college education.

There are two different exams, you are required to pass after you have graduated from engineering school, and before you earn your engineering license. The first is the FE exam, and the second is the PE exam.

Test Administration and Requirements

The Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam are given by the NCEES – National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. This is a national organization that is given the job of regulating engineer and surveyor testing.

The PE exam is a type of standardized test that is administered around the nation. It is the individual state boards that outline the eligibility requirements of the PE exam, and it is pretty apparent that the specific requirements will vary from one state to another.

While this is true, there are some basic requirements you must meet in every state where the exam is given. These include:

  • Meet state educational requirements
  • Pass the FE exam
  • Meet the experience requirements under a licensed PE
  • Pass a background check
  • Have an Experience Record signed by references and submitted
  • Submit the application paperwork to the appropriate state board
  • Pass the engineering ethics or rules exam given by the state

Some states have chosen to separate the PE exam and experience requirements. What this means is you can take the PE exam before meeting the experience requirements and submitted the application to the state board. However, before being licensed, you still must meet the licensing requirements.

Benefits Offered by Passing the PE Licensing Exam

There are several benefits offered when you pass the PE licensing exam and get your license. Some of the most significant benefits are listed here.

Stand Out from the Competition

When you have a PE license, it shows you have the equivalent of a four-year engineering degree, along with four (or more) years of progressive experience and a full understanding of engineering and physical principles.

It also proves you have met or exceeded the standards required in this profession. For a field like electrical engineering, where PE is preferred but not always needed, it provides you with the perfect opportunity to stand out.

Earn a Higher Salary

It’s estimated that the median salary for engineers – in any profession without a PE license is approximately $94,000. For engineers with a PE license, the average salary is $99,000. This represents an increase of about five percent.

It’s a Differentiator During the Hiring Process

If a business is trying to choose between two equally qualified applicants, the one who has a PE license is going to be more appealing. Usually, companies are going to choose a candidate they believe will benefit the company the most.

A company will gain benefits from an employee’s PE license, which makes this person a smart hire.

Sign and Seal Drawings and Plans

Only licensed engineers can submit drawings and plans and manage work in the private sector. These requirements result in more responsibility for the PE, which results in more career possibilities.

You Are Officially an Engineer if You Have a PE License

If you don’t have your PE license, you can’t call yourself an engineer (officially). Also, your company can’t identify you as an engineer in any official documents, resumes, letterheads, business cards, or any other documentation.

If you want to have the title of engineer, then acquiring your PE license is a must.

PE License Requirements: Now You Know

As you can see, the PE license requirements can vary from state to state. While this is true, there are some general guidelines you can use to know what you must do to acquire this certification.

If you are looking for more information about engineering requirements and the legal stipulations and requirements in this industry, check out our blog. In addition to topics about your career, we offer other information and resources for those who have questions. Visit often to see the new content we have posted.

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What Does a Business Attorney Do? 5 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Small Business

Are you launching a small startup?

Congrats on your leap. Now it’s time to finalize the details by ensuring that you dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s.

One of the many things to not only consider but do is hire a lawyer.

“But I don’t need one,” you might proclaim. Well as you know two heads are certainly better than one. This is especially true in business.

Starting a business comes with a myriad of questions, one of which should be, “What does a business attorney do?” Learn everything you need to know here.

What Does a Business Attorney Do?

Business attorneys are integral in helping business owners to resolve their problems. Essentially, they help you as a business owner to understand the problems you’re encountering as well as prepare you for possible legal challenges in the future.

Now that you know exactly what they do, take a look at the four reasons why you should definitely hire one.

Incorporating Your Business

With a lawyer on board, you will garner help to decide what type of business you want to start and why. You can decide if you’ll be incorporated as an LLC, C-Corp or S-Corp.

Since each type has different structures and tax implications, having a lawyer to help with the paperwork will ensure that you choose the best one for your business.

Choosing Business Partners

Despite screening and selecting your business partners carefully, there is no guarantee that they will carry out duties as they should.

A good way to hold them to their obligations is to have your lawyer draft a partnership agreement that is to be carried out by all partners. This agreement will clearly outline each partner’s expectations of the other, their responsibilities and their financial duties.

Employees and Contracts

Lawyers will help you to determine which forms a new employee should sign and if they should sign a waiver. They can also draft the employee’s contract.

If you run into problems related to employee benefits or workplace safety, a lawyer can educate you on what to do. Your lawyer will also be able to represent you or suggest someone who can.

Breached Contracts

A business attorney can let your contractor know that they have dishonored your contractual agreement. Your attorney can also work with the contractor on your behalf to demand that you are paid what you are owed.

They negotiate and speak on your behalf and will even file a lawsuit if necessary. Your lawyer can advise you on how to deal with compliance issues with contracts and more. They can even help to implement systems to monitor and reduce risk.

A Final Look

As you launch your business, it’s good to know the answer to the question, “What does a business attorney do?”

A lawyer will help with incorporation, compliance, contracts, and partners. They make it easy for you to have peace of mind when dealing with the legal aspects of your business.

If you would like to hire a business attorney, please contact us.

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Going Ecommerce? Freshen Up on the Regulation and Taxes

The government has passed laws that govern the operations and taxation of different forms of businesses. The regulations are also applied to online B2C and B2B sales and transactions. In this article, you will learn more about e-commerce regulations and taxes to help you make informed decisions. If you find the compliance requirements to be challenging, you can seek the services of e-commerce service providers who can help you out with issues such as VAT tax, shopping tax, and the prevailing foreign exchange rates.

E-commerce Regulations and Taxes

The Taxation of Export Businesses and E-Commerce Platforms

Many e-commerce professionals say there are no legal differences between e-commerce and transactions by exporting businesses. In 2018, a Christian clothing store called The Good News Tee exported and sold Christian t-shirts via e-commerce and was required to pay the same amount for all sales. The government applies the same taxation, customs, and licensing rules to the two forms of businesses. In some countries, there are different duties structures depending on industries and geographical locations. Some countries have also enacted strict e-commerce laws to protect consumer data privacy.

Domestic sales tax is calculated based on the “sales tax nexus.” We spoke with Veterans CBD and they mentioned that they are required to pay sales tax whenever someone make a purchase of a commodity on their e-commerce platforms in the U.S. Custom Duty and Value Added Tax paid varies depending on the country you live in. The two types of taxes are also paid during every e-commerce purchase.

There are online resources that you can utilize to get an estimate of the amount of foreign exchange that you are likely to pay. American firms are allowed by the law to pass the cost of VAT to their customers. As a US-based businessperson, you are required to register for the Value Added Tax in the country you are importing the goods from.

The Function of the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission

The U.S Department of Commerce is tasked with helping local businesses to comply with the GDPR data transfer regulations. The legal provision requires every business to disclose facts such as when they are collecting customer data, how the data will be used, and any third parties that will have access to the information. The EU law defines personal data as any information about an identified or identifiable person such as their identification number and physical location.

The Federal Trade Commission was formed more than a century ago. It regulates the operations of e-commerce platforms in the U.S. Over the years, it has presented numerous resources that can help the local business owners to understand different e-commerce concepts. The Federal body also protects customers and promotes competition among businesses. It develops relevant policies by collecting information from avenues such as workshops, conferences, and hearings. The commission works closely with relevant international bodies and law enforcement authorities locally and abroad to achieve its objectives.

Best E-Commerce Practices

Hopefully, you now have a broad understanding of e-commerce regulations and taxes. Recently, the International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published some guidelines for e-commerce platforms which outlines the best practices to ensure that they comply with customer data protection laws and regulations. Some of the issues that have been addressed in the guideline include dispute resolution mechanisms, payment methods, online disclosures, and the best marketing practices.

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Should Small Businesses Accept Cryptocurrencies to get an Edge on their Rivals?

Small business owners who want to compete with the well-established giants in their industry face a number of issues when starting out. Indeed, 20 percent of start-ups and small businesses go out of business in the first 12 months, and that figure increases to 50 percent after five years. To increase their chances of survival, new businesses need to try and steal an edge over their rivals by doing some things differently. Right now, one of the best ways to do this could be to offer cryptocurrency payments.

The world is currently split on the stance over whether bitcoin or another cryptocurrency could go mainstream in the future. Some people find it impossible to fathom that a monetary system that isn’t overseen by a central bank could exist.

Others are convinced that the decentralised blockchain system is infallible and will be used for a number of things in the future. For small business owners, it doesn’t matter whether you believe that bitcoin will take over the world or not. It is simply a case of giving those that do see it as the currency of tomorrow an outlet to spend their assets.

To say that bitcoin has risen to highs of around $20,000 in the past from starting out with no actual value, the digital currency is still far from being mainstream. For it to become the global currency that it aspires to be, many more businesses will need to begin taking payments with it. If bitcoin rises to the fore, other smaller cryptocurrencies will also gain attention. Bitcoin trade sites allow cryptocurrency enthusiasts to exchange their assets for others if they begin to gain traction. Business owners who already accept bitcoin, therefore, could easily switch to taking payments with other tokens if they become more widespread.  

Bitcoin is not currently regulated, which means there are fewer restrictions for businesses that want to use it. This enables global transactions, as the currency can be used from almost anywhere. If your small business is an online store and you want to ship to countries all over the world, using bitcoin transfers means that there will be no hassle with fluctuating exchange rates. The fees for international transfers are also much lower than they would be with banks.

Small businesses don’t need to go down the route of only offering bitcoin, it can simply be used as one of many different payment options for customers. Having the freedom to choose between preferred payment systems will also make a business more attractive to potential customers. Talking to a lawyer about anything you are uncertain with is also advisable.

Some small businesses, including coffee shops and restaurants, have gained a lot of attention by giving customers the chance to pay with bitcoin. Not only does it give consumers more choice, it also helps lower transfer costs. In addition to this, if bitcoin does end up going global, businesses who got on the bandwagon first will end up reaping the rewards.

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