You don’t need me to tell you the consequences of breaking the law.

It will be of little surprise to you to know that you could face financial penalties, prison time, and a hasty downturn in your reputation. You will also have that criminal conviction hanging over you for many years to come. While this is obviously bad news for your personal life, it’s bad news for your life in business too. While you could always hire a PR firm to spread positive news about you, and while you could escape long-term trouble with the aid of expert law firms akin to Takajian & Sitkoff, that initial bad word about you could stick. For a time, your business could struggle as a consequence.

For these reasons, we’re sure you are already doing your best to walk on the path that is straight and narrow. However, where your business is concerned, you could be at risk of breaking the law without even knowing it. In fact, you may have broken the law already!

Here are some of the reasons why.

#1: Working with the wrong suppliers

In your efforts to cut your business costs, you may have sourced a supplier who offers you goods at bargain prices. That’s great news, right? Well, not if those goods have been sold cheaply because they have been stolen or because they are defective. Now, if they have been stolen, and you then sell them on, you will only get into trouble with the law if you consciously know they were obtained illegally. However, if they are defective, and if they cause harm to the customer, you could be held liable for compensation. Our advice? Research the suppliers you use, and be mindful of any that tries to sell you something at dirt-cheap prices.

#2: Making mistakes with staff wages

Do you know what the minimum wage is in your country? Do you know the rules that are associated with overtime pay? Under federal guidelines, you need to be paying the people in your employ properly, as you will run foul of employment law if you don’t. Of course, your employees will be less than happy with you too! Our advice? Commit to research to find out how much you should be paying your staff. You can do this online by searching for the relevant wage laws in your region, although you might want to get in touch with a legal firm that is well-versed in employment law too.

#3: Claiming improper deductions on your tax returns

Ah, those dreaded tax bills. These are the bane of every business owner, not only in terms of stress but in terms of the expense that comes with them too. They are a necessary evil, of course, and to minimize the damage to your finances, you probably list as many deductions as you can when filling out your forms. And while this is fine, you could run foul of the law if you mistakenly list the wrong deductions, such as by adding those items that are more attuned to persona rather than business expenses. Our advice? Speak to an accountant, as they know what should and shouldn’t be classed as tax deductions. And check out this useful guide for more advice on the matter. 

You wouldn’t break the law intentionally, we’re sure, but it’s still worth committing to research and seeking professional assistance to alleviate any risks. After all, as we said at the beginning of this article, you do have your reputation to consider, on both a personal and a business level, so care does need to be taken.

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