There are many ways to become a criminal. Speeding is a common one and probably the most common, but everyone knows they are breaking the law. What about a way to become a criminal without intending to be a criminal? There is one other way that many people don’t consider. Starting a business is one way to quickly violate a number of laws without really realizing it.
You may wonder what a business owner could do to become a criminal without intending to do so. There are all sorts of laws you can violate. You need to:
- Get a Federal Tax ID number
- You typically need to get a business license
- If you intend to have employees you need an unemployment tax ID
- With employees you need to have Workers’ Comp insurance
- Employees need to complete federal tax forms and state forms in most states
- You will very quickly have to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires particular records and proper payment of employees
- And as long as you have to comply with the FLSA you also have to comply with the Affordable Care Act, even when you don’t offer insurance
For companies under 15 employees
There are however, many more laws that the small business must comply with, of which most start-ups are unaware. Here is a list.
- Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 (if company offers benefits)
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1969
- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Amendment to FLSA)
- Federal Insurance Contributions Act of 1935 (FICA) (Social Security)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (if company offers benefits)
- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
- National Labor Relations Act of 1947
- Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 (for
- Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
- Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures of 1978
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994
This list covers employers up to 14 employees. Beyond that there are bigger laws.
So if you wish to quickly become a criminal in the US start a company without paying attention to your compliance obligations.