Avoiding Criminal Liability as a Business Owner

If you are considering starting your own business, there are many important decisions that must be made. You must take care of a variety of different contractual matters as well as ensuring your entity is in compliance with the laws that govern your business. It is important to understand that your failure to comply with certain regulations could result in you being held criminally liable. The following are a few areas where business owners should obtain legal advice:

  • Employment laws. Failure to properly classify your workers as employees as opposed to independent contractors or failing to pay your employees minimum wage could result in criminal charges. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to hire illegal immigrants, so it is imperative that you obtain the appropriate documentation during the hiring process.
  • Securities laws. The violation of securities laws is a common mistake made by many new business owners. For instance, if a business owner makes materially false or misleading statements when offering the sale of securities or you retain an unregistered finder to sell your securities, you could be held liable for securities law violations. Finally, you cannot improperly sell securities to family and friends who are not accredited investors. These types of mistakes are easy to make and can lead to serious consequences.
  • Tax laws. The tax laws for small businesses can be complicated. Failure to pay the Internal Revenue Service the payroll taxes that have been withheld from your employee’s paychecks can get you into big trouble. There is also criminal liability for failure to pay the sales taxes collected to the appropriate state taxing authority.
  • Privacy laws. Protecting the privacy of clients, customers and other parties is a growing concern for businesses. Thus, it is important for your entity to have appropriate privacy policies in place and procedures to ensure that your employees follow them.

The above list is not exhaustive and there are many other issues we can assist business owners with. Let us help ensure that your business is a success. If you are starting a new business, let us help you comply with all the various applicable laws, regulations and rules. The attorneys at Nielsen Law Group can help with all business formation matters. You can schedule your initial consultation by calling (480) 888-7111 or submitting a web request here.