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3 Common Types of Fines Assessed Against Small Businesses

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

For some small businesses, legal compliance can often be a point of contention. Depending on what type of business is being run, the location can make a big difference when it comes to which regulations are enforced. For example, on the local level, a business located in a residential area may have to worry about things like a noise violation.

In addition to all the local ordinances that small businesses have to keep up with, there are also the larger, state and federal level violations that even small businesses are subject to. Here are three of the most common types of fines that get assessed against small businesses.

1. Tax Violations

Among the most common fines business will pay involve tax penalties for underpayment of estimated taxes and failing to file taxes on time. For many small business owners, these fines are the result of poor tax planning, and could have been simply avoided by hiring an accountant. If a person has a habit of accumulating tax violations, hiring a regular tax person will likely result in a net savings over time.

If there are already tax violations piled up on your business, you will likely need to seek out the help of a tax attorney as well.

2. OSHA Violations

Even for businesses not in the construction business, OSHA violations are a regular occurrence. Under both state and federal law, employers are required to provide a safe working environment for employees. It can be violation to simply fail to post one of those odd looking state issued posters with lots of fine print (you know, the ones that get posted in the break-room). However, when it comes to OSHA violations, construction businesses tend to rack up the most violations as construction sites are frequently filled with safety problems that could expose employers to fines or other consequences.

3. Wage and Hour Violations

Employers are required to pay their employees according to state and federal legal requirements. Unfortunately, the requirements can be rather specific, and when an employer fails to follow the requirements, can be subject to fines and penalties. Depending on how each state enforces their wage and hour laws, the penalties and fines can vary. But most states have rather specific rules that will provide for financial penalties if an employer fails to do something as simple as provide a detailed paystub with each paycheck.

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