The Most Common Fines Assessed Against Small Businesses

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When you own a small business, complying with regulations and laws is an essential part of your role. But let’s face it, the responsibility can be overwhelming, particularly when laws and regulations are constantly changing, and you’re focused on keeping your business in the black. But legal compliance at the local, state and federal levels is a non-negotiable, and that means small businesses get fined for failing to follow the law.

While laws differ widely from state to state and city to city, there are some laws that small businesses are often assessed for violating. Here’s a look at the most common types of fines against small businesses.

Tax penalties. Tax violations are a common issue for small business owners for various reasons. They could relate to tax penalties for failing to pay taxes on time, underpayment of estimated taxes, accuracy issues, tax fraud, failure to pay or a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.

Failure to pay employees according to the law. Wage and hour violations can lead to penalties, which can vary according to how states enforce their laws. Small business owners need to be aware of the state and federal legal requirements, some of which could be as seemingly inconsequential as providing a paystub to employees with their paycheck.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations. Construction companies frequently face violations, but the truth is even businesses which are not in the construction industry need to be mindful of OSHA violations, and they frequently encounter them. Under federal and state law, employers must provide a safe working environment for their staff, but what that entails can be complex. Violations can even include failing to display a mandated poster. Business owners are smart to stay on top of OSHA regulations and to follow them.

Owning a small business can be a dream come true for budding entrepreneurs, but following the law can help ensure it doesn’t become a nightmare of assessed fines or legal issues. If you have questions about whether you are at risk of violating these laws, it may be best to secure an accountant and a trusted, knowledgeable attorney who have knowledge of current regulations and can point you in the right direction. 

la crosse business lawyerArticle by Tony Gingrasso, La Crosse Business Lawyer. For a business lawyer in La Crosse WI, contact him at 608-784-5678.

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