2012 illuminates lessons for business owners

Between the recovering economy, an array of new laws and changing attitudes surrounding business, 2012 was a busy year for small business owners in New Jersey. Several new issues came to the fore and others were revisited.

Free Enterprise, a blog about legal issues facing small business owners, recently shared five of their most popular small business issues covered in 2012. These concerns range from employment questions to taxes.

For example, bereavement leave was a major issue last year. Federal law does not require employers to provide time off in the event of a death in an employee’s family, but many states and localities do. Whatever your policy, it is wise to be consistent to avoid a breach of contract lawsuit.

Dress codes were another common issue for employers. In order to comply with state and federal law prohibiting discrimination, dress codes should apply equally to all employees, not singling anyone out on the basis of age or sex, for example. In addition, rules should be able to accommodate religious and cultural dress, especially with national origin discrimination claims on the rise.

Another hot-button issue was IRS audits for small businesses. The IRS plans to step up audits of small businesses to catch income under-reporting and other errors in order to recover more tax revenue. This makes it especially important to comply with tax laws.

If you are a business owner dealing with a legal issue, whether it’s employment, a merger or acquisition, bankruptcy or a contract dispute, consider working with a business and commercial law attorney experienced in similar matters. They have the experience to help you find the solution that will best protect your interests – and your business.

Source: Free Enterprise, “Top 5 Small Business Lessons of 2012,” Andrew Lu, Dec. 31, 2012

To learn more about legal issues facing New Jersey businesses, please visit our website.



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