Legally Maintaining Your Businesses Federal, State, and Local Obligations
Dan Levenson March 22, 2021
You’re finally starting your business, woo-hoo! You have your brand, your team, your finances, and your location, everything’s great. But wait, before you can do any business, you must have your state and federal legal obligations taken care of, have you done that? If this sounds foreign to you or you just don’t know where to start, InsureYourCompany.com can help you better understand the insurance side of protecting your business while staying compliant with your state and local laws.
Your Records, Your Responsibility — Internal Requirements
There are external and internal business compliance requirements that you will need to meet. External requirements will involve filing paperwork and paying state and federal taxes, while internal requirements will be kept inside for your own files and record keeping. If you decide to one day sell your business, you may need to have those records available.
Business Structure Requirements
Corporations have some really strict requirements which are why certain things need to be done regularly when running a business. Some helpful things to adopt would be:
- Hold initial meeting
- Annual Director Meetings
- Shareholder meetings
- Record meeting minutes
- Maintain bylaws
- Issue stock to shareholders
- Record all stock transfers.
An LLC doesn’t have such strict requirements, however, they are advised to:
- Maintain updated operating agreement(s)
- Manage membership shares
- Record membership interest transfers
- Hold annual business meetings
Some businesses have limited internal requirements while others have no internal requirements at all. Not a good idea, consider looking into some internal requirements. If you don’t know where to start, InsureYourCompany.com can help you with that.
Maintain Your State Filing Requirements
Here are a few common requirements to watch for:
- Annual report or biennial statement
- Statement filing fees
- Franchise tax. Some states charge franchise taxes for corporations or LLCs that operate within their borders. Varies by state.
- Initial reports. Some states require initial reports and fees shortly after incorporation.
- Articles of Amendment
Continue Your Federal Filing Requirements
Beyond paying federal taxes and complying with the Affordable Care Act, most businesses will not have to worry about all the other federal requirements. So be certain to meet each of your federal obligations for your business inclusive of employer and income taxes.
Businesses with 50 plus employees must report to the IRS that they provide health coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act. Keep any federal licenses, permits, or certificates for your business up to date.
Comply With Other Federal Requirements
Not all business activities need to be regulated, so they don’t require filing. However, you need to be sure to stay compliant with all the laws for your state and business type such as:
- Marketing and Advertising Laws
- Copyright laws
- Workplace Poster Laws
- Workplace health and safety laws
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) laws
It is detrimental to the success of your business to maintain your licenses, your permits, and the recertification that you get from your local state, city, or county, and renewal requirements will vary.
Depending on the type of business you have, here are some resources that you will need to register your business with:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Federal Communications Commission
InsureYourCompany.com is your one-stop for all that’s business insurance-related. We understand your business needs as a business owner because we’re business owners. Contact us today, our team of insurance experts is here and ready to help you get and stay small business compliant. In the meantime, visit our blog over here.