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Small Businesses Need These 7 Legal Technicalities to Thrive

As a small business owner, you’re familiar with the challenge of keeping track of legal requirements for your business. You may have started by getting a business license, only to find out the slew of technicalities required to stay compliant is never-ending.

1. Maintain the strictest data privacy requirements possible

Trying to stay on top of local and state data privacy laws has become impossible. Laws change fast; it’s impossible to expect anyone to reasonably stay caught up with the details. You could be compliant today, yet when a new law goes into effect tomorrow, overnight you could become non-compliant.

2. General liability insurance

Getting business insurance is a wise move. There are many situations that can put you into a financial hole if you’re caught uninsured. For example, if someone slips and falls on your premises, they’ll likely sue you for their injuries. If you’re found to be negligent, you will be required to pay for their current and ongoing medical expenses along with legal fees incurred during the lawsuit.

3. Form an official business entity

In some U.S. states, you don’t need to form an official business entity to operate, but it’s a technicality you’ll regret not pursuing. The main reason business owners form entities like an S-Corporation, C-Corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC) is to protect their personal assets from being grabbed in a lawsuit.

4. Keep a record of all licenses obtained

Keep an organized index of all licenses obtained in the course of doing business. You might be required to produce your license later on someday. For example, you’re probably going to download a bunch of stock photos over the years. Each time you buy a stock photo, you receive a license to use that photo. While these licenses will be available in your online account, always print them out and save them in physical form.

5. A printed record of receipts

Almost everything is stored on the computer today, but it’s still a good idea to have printed copies of certain kinds of information. Receipts are included in that exception.

6. A privacy policy on your website

A privacy policy is a declaration regarding how a website collects, stores, and uses information collected from visitors. This can include anything from a visitor’s IP address and geographic location to email addresses, names, addresses, and bank account information. A privacy policy also should disclose how visitor data will be used by advertisers if relevant. Visitors have a right to know if their information is being sold to marketers.

7. A visible ‘unsubscribe’ link in your emails

Like privacy policies, having a clear unsubscribe link in all of your emails is required by law. All businesses and individuals with an email list must provide an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe.

Stay on top of new laws in your industry

While these legal technicalities apply across the board, make sure you stay up-to-date with new laws and regulations in your industry. Don’t leave legal compliance up to chance. If you can’t easily find sources for legal changes in your industry, find an attorney you can pay to provide you with regular updates.

Frank Landman

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