Starting a new business is a huge undertaking. From the first idea to finally opening your doors, business owners put a lot of time, energy, and resources into bringing their dream to life. While owners often think about marketing strategies, decorating, and customer service protocols, many of them often forget about all the regulations that go into opening a business. The government has created miles of red tape that seriously affects business owners. From who you can hire and how you hire them to what you can do with your leftover food, the government has created rules that, when broken, can leave you with a huge fine or even shut you down. In order to make sure your business follows all the laws and regulations that apply to it, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney specializing in employment law in Fort Walton Beach.
Laws Governing Wages
One of the first things you should think about when starting a business is how many employees you are going to need. The number of employees, and how much they work, will determine which laws apply to you. Generally, the more employees you have, the more laws you have to comply with. One law that applies to almost everyone is the minimum wage law. In Florida, minimum wage is $7.79 an hour, unless your business is part of an industry in which tips are common. For employees who receive tips, the minimum wage is only $4.77 per hour. When deciding how much you will pay your employees, it must be at least the minimum wage, but remember that you get what you pay for! If your business can't afford to pay more than minimum wage, you may want to consider other perks that will attract quality workers.
Workers' Comp Insurance
Another huge consideration to make when starting a business for which you need to hire four or more employees is workers' compensation insurance. Buying workers' comp insurance is a lot like buying auto or home insurance. You can do an Internet search and you will find many providers including Progressive, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual. This type of insurance is required by the state and not providing it is cause for enormous fines. This insurance covers injuries and illnesses that happen on or because of the job someone is performing. These insurance programs do not cover illnesses and injuries that are not job-related.
Legislation Concerning Minors
New business owners who are considering hiring minors need to be aware of special legislation that protects children under 18 years of age. If your business performs any kind of hazardous work or deals in any kind of hazardous materials, you cannot hire minors. If you are unsure about whether your business is considered hazardous, speak to an attorney. It is also important to point out that minors are not allowed to work during school hours unless they have been given a special exemption. These are only some of the laws governing the employment of minors, which means that to be safe, any business considering hiring minors needs to consult an employment law attorney in order avoid fines and penalties.
Federal Employment Laws
Besides adhering to several different state laws, businesses need to be aware of, and in compliance with, a slew of federal laws and regulations. Some of the laws and regulations that come down from the federal level include the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and subsequent legislation, the Americans with Disability Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and several others. All of this legislation was created in an effort to make sure that everyone with the correct qualifications is treated fairly during and after the hiring process. For more information about legislation that will affect your business, contact a law firm specializing in employment law in Fort Walton Beach.