Legal and Regulations

Protect your business: Five types of small business regulations to consider

From protecting your business to keeping the environment safe, these five main areas of regulations may impact your business.

Published: March 28, 2017

1. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures safe and healthful working conditions for employees through training, outreach, education, and assistance provided to the employer. Review OSHA's Law & Regulations page to familiarize yourself with the key requirements for your industry, which may include environmental controls, equipment standards, and protections from hazardous materials.

2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Standards from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) help ensure that your business processes avoid any practices that may harm the environment. The EPA's compliance incentives encourage small business owners to actively participate in reporting and communicating any EPA violations affecting areas such as water, pesticides, air, and radiation.

3. Internal Revenue Service

Regardless of your business’s lifecycle phase or industry, understanding the applicable tax codes is essential. The way you file taxes will adjust according to any changes such as closing the business, changing the business address, or taking on a new business name. Explore resources from the IRS and state tax authorities for helping small businesses with assets under $10 million prepare, file, or pay taxes.

4. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act

While e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, conducting business online also entails certain considerations such as copyright, security, taxation, and privacy. Familiarizing yourself with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act can help protect your online business from copyright infringement and identity theft.

5. Federal Trade Commission

Standards from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may affect how you label your products or services, how you advertise to children, and the types of claims your business can make. FTC standards can vary by industry, so take steps to understand those that apply to your business to avoid any possible legal penalties.

Understanding how regulations impact your small business may help your business avoid complications. Learn more about common business lawsuits.