The Role Of Financial Law For Small Business Owners

Have you recently started  your own small business and you have no idea what laws exist to protect your interests? Or have you owned your business for awhile, but have found yourself in difficult financial times and you have no idea how to move forward? The Small Business Administration outlines three separate sections of financial law that are designed to protect the interests of small business owners in the United States: antitrust law, bankruptcy law, and securities law. But the important thing to consider is how these laws can affect you and how they could play a role in your business.

Antitrust Law

There are three acts that are considered at the core of federal antitrust law. These three acts are:

  • The Sherman Act: The Sherman Act focuses on monopolies. It specifically outlaws every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade. A violation of the Sherman Act can result in fines of up to $1 million for an individual and $100 million for a business, with the potential for ten years in prison. 
  • Federal Trade Commission Act: The Federal Trade Commission Act is responsible for banning unfair competition methods. In addition, a violation of the Sherman Act is also considered a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. 
  • The Clayton Act: The Clayton act also focuses on monopolies, but covers areas that the Sherman Act does not, including mergers. An example of a violation of the Clayton Act would be the same individual making business decisions for competing companies. 

Bankruptcy Law

There are three types of bankruptcy that small business owners may qualify for: chapter 7, chapter 11 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives business owners the ability to turn over the equipment and products of the business to the bankruptcy trustee, who will then sell the items and distribute payment to the creditors. This option is used when a business is planning to shut its doors. Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 gives business owners the ability to continue operating the business while making monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee.  

Securities Law

Securities law focuses on the sale of securities and what information has to be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Securities Act of 1933 regulates the sale of any securities and offers related to these securities. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 outlines what information must be reported and who is required to report the information.  

If you still have questions regarding how financial law plays a role in your business operations, consider contacting Philip L. Burnett, Attorney At Law or another attorney in your area. They can not only help you navigate through the process, but they can also help you in determining where your specific parts of your business fit into each category.