Small Business Owners Need to Brush Up on Regulatory Changes

This year, a number of new federal employment rules are either already slated to go into place or likely to do so, and that could mean that many small business owners will have to change things around when it comes to their companies as a means of staying compliant.

Obviously the biggest of these changes has been grabbing headlines for months now, and will finally start affecting business owners in particular later this year, according to a report from the New York Post. That is, of course, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which mandates that small businesses with 50 or more employees will have to offer health insurance to those workers, starting next year. However, the deadline to begin this coverage being Jan. 1, 2015, does not mean that owners will be able to rest on their laurels until that date; instead they will have to shop around and find the best possible plans for their unique needs potentially months in advance.

In addition, it appears likely that a number of other changes to the ways in which certain types of employees – such as part-timers and freelancers – count against companies' hiring numbers, could also alter the ways in which they do business, the report said. The problem for many smaller companies in particular, which may rely more heavily on these types of workers than full-timers, is that the waters related to this subject may be extremely difficult to navigate even for companies with teams of lawyers, which most small business owners obviously cannot afford.

"Without doubt, those all will be challenges facing small business in 2014, but there are many places where small businesses without a large staff can go for help," according to Helana Natt, executive director of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.

Where can they turn?
A number of small business advocacy groups and local organizations will likely be able to help owners find out exactly what will be required of them under any regulatory changes, the report said. Often, though, owners may put off seeking help simply because they don't think they have time. However, this isn't likely to be a good idea because the work has to get done some time, and the longer they have to prepare, the less likely they are to face last-minute issues.

Owners might also want to look into their small business insurance options going forward, as finding reduced costs for general liability insurance and other coverage can save thousands.