Federal statutes are laws enacted by Congress, usually with the approval of the president. These pieces of legislation can affect many different people and different aspects of everyday life in the United States. In some cases, they also affect businesses and the ways business is conducted in the US.
There are many different federal statutes on the books, and legislation is sometimes revised or replaced by new legislation. This can make for a fairly confusing situation when it comes to figuring out which laws actually apply to your business and which ones don’t. How can you find out which federal statutes you need to pay attention to?
Keep Tabs on Legislation
One of the things you can do is keep tabs on Congress. Proposed legislation is debated within Congress before it’s approved and signed into law. Bills may be sent back for revisions and then debated again. Debates will often reference the effects the new legislation will have.
Some discussion might center on how a proposed law will impact existing business law or what effects the new law would have on small business owners.
Check in with the SBA
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the wing of the federal government dedicated to assisting small businesses. Since its creation in the 1950s, the SBA has helped millions of businesses in a number of ways.
One of the services it offers is counseling and information for small business owners. If you’re not sure about existing federal legislation or how it applies to you, the SBA should be able to help. You can check out some of its free online resources or get in touch to ask questions about how existing laws or new proposals could affect your business.
Join a Business Association
Your local business association may also be able to provide you with assistance in discovering which federal statutes apply to your business. Resources may include local businesspeople and lawyers who have experience with business law in your municipality, your state, and at the federal level.
A national business association could also assist you when it comes to figuring out the legal framework governing your business operations. Check for associations pertaining to your industry or even representing businesses within your state. They can provide you with access to the information and other legal resources you need.
Use Online Resources
There are many useful online resources for discovering more about federal statutes. Almost all laws are available online, and US government sites try to make laws more accessible for individuals. There are also some legal repositories that may keep digital copies of laws online.
Simply reading through the text of a law may not tell you very much, and it can be quite time-consuming. You might see if there’s a legal resource or law firm with analysis on a particular law. Some may provide information about which laws you need to pay attention to or new proposals and how they could affect you.
Do be careful with online resources, however, as not everyone is qualified to give legal advice. Some internet resources may provide poor or incorrect information, so always be sure to double-check your sources. If in doubt, ask someone you trust, such as a lawyer, an accountant, or your payroll provider.
Ask the HR Experts
Although employment and business laws are often considered the domain of lawyers working in those areas, those involved in human resources often need to know a good deal about the law as well!
Payroll and other human resources activities must be carried out in compliance with the law, which means those involved in accounting, finance, payroll, and other human resources activities are almost always keeping a keen eye on the legislation governing how business is conducted.
If you’re not sure which federal statutes apply to your business, it’s not difficult to find out. Reach out and make use of some of the resources at your fingertips.