As a small-business owner, there are several categories of law that are essential for you to understand. Failure to understand business law can lead to lawsuits. Avoid these expenses and keep your business operating legally and ethically by conforming to these types of law.

Paying Taxes

No one likes to pay taxes, particularly as a business owner. However, failure to follow tax laws can result in fines, seized property and, in extreme cases, even jail time. Understand when taxes are due and consider hiring an accountant to keep your finances in order and operating legally.

Small businesses are required to pay quarterly taxes, which may come as a surprise to individuals who are used to only paying personal taxes. There are a bewildering amount of stipulations, regulations and tax advantages that businesses need to know, so an accountant can be a worthwhile investment for even the smallest businesses.

Avoiding Copyright Issues

Copyright and trademark laws are an important area of business law designed to protect small businesses from fraud and theft. By taking an idea for a product, marketing slogan or other intellectual property from a competitor, you’re stealing something they could have invested thousands of dollars into creating. Understand your risks, avoid lawsuits and protect your own investment by understanding copyright issues and securing rights for your own logo, name and intellectual property.

Stay Up-to-Date With Permits and Licenses

Depending on your industry, there may be dozens of necessary licenses and permits required before you can sell your products or offer your services. Business law prohibits offering many products and services without the right licensing. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure you and all your employees have the necessary licenses to run your business legally.

Keep Your Employees Safe

Finally, as you start taking on employees, you need to understand all the laws that are designed to keep them safe. Minimum wage, anti-discrimination, workers’ compensation, OSHA requirements, and other laws need to be enforced in order to avoid employee lawsuits.

Business law can seem confusing and has a wide range of restrictions for businesses. However, instead of thinking of these laws as a hindrance to your success, think of them as ways that your local and federal government are working hard to protect you and your customers. Not only do these laws ensure that your competition doesn’t undercut your services or products with theft, deception or other unethical behaviors, they also encourage your customers to trust your business.