For the small business owner, keeping up with the most current laws can be very difficult. Small business owners generally wear many hats and often the legal hat is one that can make or break your company. To help make things easier for the small business owner here are the top business laws of 2014 that you will need to know.
Health Care Reform
As January 1, 2014 approaches, employers need to get a full understanding of how health care reform is going to impact them. Employer Shared Responsibility is a particular issue that needs to be understood. Pursuant to Employer Shared Responsibility, employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to determine whether they need to provide some level of health insurance coverage. Failure to do so may subject the employer to government assessed penalties.
In June 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. Business owners need to pay close attention to the E-Verify requirement under the Act. E-Verify is a web-based service designed to provide employers with a convenient method of verifying the eligibility of their workers to work in the United States.
Two areas of employment regulation that require close attention are worker misclassification and background checks. The IRS is cracking down on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Further, employers should proceed cautiously when using a potential hire’s criminal history to determine whether the business will hire the candidate. Improper use of the criminal history may violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
Tax on Online Sales
Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act. This Act requires online retailers with more than $1 million in sales to collect sales taxes and remit them to local and state governments. While this Act was generally received by large Internet retailers with procedures and systems in place to meet the requirements of this Act, smaller retailers are worried that this may cause a significant burden on them.
Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional
This past year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to equal treatment under the law. Specifically, the Court ruled that Proposition 8, California’s law banning marriage between same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. Business owners should be prepared to feel the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the areas of health insurance, payroll taxes and other employment law matters.
With these examples of changes to come in 2014 you can stay ahead of the competition and really be focused on the important things within your business. If you need any help discussing any business laws that may be of concern you can consult a professional like the Law Offices of Kirk A Cullimore.