Monday, June 27, 2011

Seasonal Business and Seasonal Job

The owner of a seasonal business, you've probably opened your doors and business is starting to pick up. Still, it's not too to take a look at some of the operational issues that could impact your business from a legal perspective.

Employees: It's important to be on the right side of the law when it comes to your staff.

1.  Since many seasonal jobs involve hiring students-either high - scholars of college age students who are home for the summer - make sure that you comply with your state's minimum age requirements for employment.

2.  Understand that most of your workers will be deemed employees. Just because you give someone an IRS From 1099 doesn't automatically make that person an "Independent Contractor" You will likely have to withhold taxes form your staff, so make sure that your payroll operations are being handled property.

3.  If your are hiring many non U.S Citizens, you may want to meet with an immigration attorney to make sure that your federal paperwork (From 1-9) is in order. You don't want to be on the wrong end of an immigration audit!

Insurance: Make sure you have the proper amount of coverage to ensure you won't be left in the lurch should worse come to worst.

1  How's your  liability coverage? Be prepared in case any customers or employees get injured.

2. You may want to evaluate if you need employment practice coverage, which protects the business owner from lawsuits filed by disgruntled employees.

3. Finally, you must be sure that you have enough insurance to cover the replacement costs or your business assets tin case they are destroyed by fire, flood, tornado, etc. (This is very important for boardwalk business that are especially susceptible to bad weather).

Lease: Carefully review your lease-it may be time to renegotiate certain terms.

1.  Are three specific restrictions that you want the landlord to re-think now that your business has expanded" For example, maybe you sell french fries on the boardwalk, but now you also want to sell water ice. Is there anything in the lease that prevents you from doing so?

2.  Are you required to lease the premises year round, or are you able to set up and move out of the space at the end each summer and therefore should have a lease that runs for certain months of the year?

For you fall/winter business owners - like plowing companies, ski resorts, holiday shops, etc., here are some quick tips for seasonal business owners in the "off-season"

1.  Study up on your industry, familiarize yourself with new trends and changes.

2.  Stay connected to customers via a newsletter, social media, etc.

3.  Revamp systems to make your operation more efficient.

4.  Spend considerable time interviewing staff for the following season, don't wait until last minute.


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