Is That Even Legal? Gray Areas Of Business Law And What They Mean To You


The last thing you want against your company name is a legal question mark. If you’re starting out, that could be enough to see your reputation down the drain. Even if you’re running an established company, legal proceedings could undo you. They’ll be enough to see loyal customers turning away, and new customers looking elsewhere. Hence, you want to keep your company as squeaky clean as possible.

That shouldn’t be difficult when it comes to basic stuff. Everyone knows about taking care of things like product safety and transparency. Still, it’s possible to land in trouble with the law without even realizing it. Why? Because not every law is as open and obvious as you may expect.

Putting the apparent stuff aside, you may find that there are plenty of other laws you aren’t clear on. In some cases, these even change on a regular basis. But, you need to research and adjust if you’re to stand any chance of keeping clean. That’s why we’re going to look at a few legal gray areas, and consider how you can work around them.

Asking for customer information

You can’t run a company without asking for customer information. But, it’s easy to break the law here. You need to be careful what you’re asking. It’s also worth considering where you’re trading. If you’re dealing with online customers from Europe, you now need to consider general data protection regulation (GDPR). This is protects both what you ask for, and how you use it. Speaking of how you use what you have, different fields have different regulations. Someone in healthcare would need to contact a company like North American Health Security to ensure they stayed HIPAA compliant. A retailer, however, can get away with cyber-security measures. The devil is in the legal detail, so make sure you don’t get caught out.

Expecting overtime

Matters of employment law are also essential considerations. Namely, you may want to know the legality around overtime. Perhaps you’ve asked, and your employees have point blank refused. In that instance, know that it is legal to expect overtime, as long as you pay overtime for anything worked over 40 hours. You won’t find the police at your door for demanding extra hours, but you will if you expect it for free.

Selling on Sundays

This may seem a little left-field, but it’s one of the most extensive law minefields. Blue laws restrict sales of many products on Sundays. What’s more, these laws vary depending on the state in which you operate. Ignoring this, then, could land you in legal hot water faster than anything else. As a general rule, selling alcohol is often prohibited on Sundays. Car sales are also prohibited on this day in a load of states. In New Jersey, you can’t even sell clothing on Sundays. Research before settling on your opening hours. Bear in mind, too, that you can legally move your store online in these instances as no money will pass hands. Who would’ve thought?