Category: Legal

A Small Business Guide to Open Enrollment

  • Open enrollment is a few week period at the end of the year when employees can choose, drop or change their employer-sponsored health care coverage.
  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees aren’t necessarily required to pay into group health insurance premiums.
  • Small businesses that do offer plans through the Small Business Health Options Program enjoy the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.

As far as fall rituals go, the health insurance “open enrollment” period is right up there with raking wet leaves and paying property taxes. If this isn’t your first time around the block as a business, you already know that earlier is better when it’s time to get the word out and meet what always turns out to be a rocket speed-approaching deadline.

Here are the basics for 2019 and what small business owner’s need to know.

Do small businesses have to offer health coverage?

Not always. If you’re a business with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you aren’t required to pay a percentage of group health insurance premiums – but many small organizations opt to do it to stay competitive.

Things have changed with the Affordable Care Act: A mandate fining individuals without health insurance was removed in 2019. But the ACA still requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance coverage. Regardless, it’s still a good idea to offer a plan given the tough climate for finding and retaining good workers.

An added bonus to offering coverage is that small companies who sign up for plans through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), can take advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. If all criteria are met, this tax credit is worth up to 50% of the costs a company pays for employee premiums, according

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8 HR Compliance Challenges Small Businesses Face

There are many regulations imposed on small businesses. Once you start hiring employees, you will need to abide by these ever-changing laws. Not only do you have to keep your finger on the pulse of federal agencies’ requirements, but you must also track changes at the state and local levels. Keep reading to learn about eight evolving employment and HR compliance regulations you’ll need to monitor.

1. Paying your employees at least minimum wage

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If you pay your workers less than that, you could be responsible for back wages and steep penalties.

Although the rate has been stagnant for over 10 years, there is a nationwide movement to increase it to $15 per hour. In fact, more than half the states and several localities have set their minimum wages higher than the Department of Labor’s standard.

If your state’s minimum wage differs from the federal limit, you will usually need to pay your workers the higher of the two. To find out how much you’re required to pay your team members, contact your state’s DOL branch.

2. Knowing when to pay overtime

A worker is exempt from overtime if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are paid on a salary basis.
  • They make at least $23,660 per year or $455 per week.
  • They perform exempt job duties, such as supervising two or more people.

For all others, you will likely need to pay at least 1.5 times their hourly rate for any time worked over 40 hours in a single workweek. Recently, the DOL increased the salary threshold to $35,568 per year or $684 per week. This rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. If any of your employees are exempt from overtime but earn less

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Are You Compliant With Employment Laws?

Most business owners understand the importance of complying with the law, yet few of them are sure of how to protect themselves from potential accusations of legal wrongdoing. This is because many entrepreneurs who are incredibly talented in commercial affairs are understandably ignorant when it comes to the complexities of employment law. Nevertheless, you can’t afford to ignore employment law – this will end up costing you significant sums of money and could even jeopardize your commercial existence.

Case law that demonstrates the risks

American case law demonstrates that any employer who doesn’t have a strong understanding of employment law could be in serious trouble sooner rather than later. When we discuss “case law,” what we’re talking about is previous legal decisions, which have established a precedent that could impact you if your company is ever involved in a serious legal dispute. Various cases demonstrate that employees could successfully sue your company if you don’t lay down a solid legal foundation for your business that will keep everyone happy and on the same page.

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren detailed her account of losing a job due to her pregnancy, for instance, it led to a plethora of people coming forward to share their stories of pregnancy discrimination. In some instances, workers have successfully sued companies on the basis that they were fired for being pregnant. This shows that you must clearly establish when someone’s contract ends if you don’t want to end up with a legal calamity on your hands.

It’s not only American case law that shows this, either: In the U.K., Laura Gruzdaite recently won £28,000 for discrimination related to her pregnancy because a company didn’t clearly explain in her contract that she was only a seasonal worker. The company initially hired Gruzdaite as a seasonal worker who

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Small Business Guide to SBA Loan Default

  • Do your homework to find out what your options are
  • Gather as much data as you can
  • Work with the SBA on a settlement

Running a business can be tough ⁠– it doesn’t always work out the way we planned. This can leave us worrying about paying back those pesky business loans. This guide is crafted to help anyone who:

I’m Jason Milleisen, the founder of Distressed Loan Advisors. As an SBA default expert, I use my wealth of professional experience to negotiate settlements. This is thanks to my stint as a workout officer for the largest SBA in the U.S., followed by the past 10 years of working directly with borrowers as a consultant, I’ve learned a lot I can share. 

If you’re looking to cross a bridge (or perhaps a gauntlet would be more appropriate), you have to start somewhere. This means taking that crucial first step of admitting to yourself that failure (and the resulting default) is a real possibility. Where do you get started when you’ve defaulted on your SBA loan? How do you get from zero to one?

Take a look in the mirror

While it may be emotional to have your SBA loan hanging over you, consider your options wisely. Before the SBA will even sniff at a settlement, they need to know you’ve already done everything in your power to pay off your loan in full.

Your loan is likely secured by your business assets. If the collective value of these business assets will cover the loan, you’ll need to sell them to repay the full amount. If you’re lucky, you might not have to sell everything, and your business can still continue to operate on bare-bones resources. The reality, however, is that in most situations, the business folds.

In the vast

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How You Can Make Your Business Website GDPR Compliant

Ever since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union (EU), every business website needs to inform users about the data that it collects. Severe data breaches at Yahoo, Uber and other companies have brought privacy concerns to the forefront. Making your website GDPR compliant is necessary and helps protect users’ data. 

Understanding what the GDPR is all about and how to implement it can feel overwhelming. Let’s take a look at what the GDPR act covers and how you can make your site GDPR compliant. 

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR is an EU regulation that protects the online privacy of all EU citizens. It covers how personal data is used and extracted when users visit and interact with a website. This act affects all websites since they are likely to get visitors from the EU region. 

Here are some of the key features of the GDPR act that affects businesses:

  • All websites must explicitly disclose that they are collecting personal data.

  • Businesses must inform individuals about why, how and where they store and process users’ data.

  • Users have a right to ask for a portable copy of the data collected from them.

  • They have the right to have their data erased under some circumstances.

  • Businesses with core activities where they collect personal data must have a Data Protection Officer.

  • Businesses must report serious breaches of information within 72 hours.

  • GDPR violators can be fined up to €20 million or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover.

The intent behind the GDPR regulation is to protect people against data breaches. Most WordPress sites or other sites collect information in different ways. If a site uses analytics, WordPress forms, optin forms or email marketing, then it is collecting personal information.

Your biggest

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