Welcome back to our series on .
This week, we're offering tips and resources for understanding your responsibilities as an employer. Last week’s experts, Richard Shoaf and Chris Coleman, are back with more tips for potential small business owners. Bob Russell, the ’s economic developer, also weighs in.
Advice from the Experts
“As an employer, you have responsibilities to yourself, your employees, and their families,” Coleman said. “There is a reason why few ever take on the role of employer—because there are so many responsibilities.”
He said that among the most important responsibilities an employer has is taking good care of employees.
“This includes everything from compensation, addressing concerns, and respecting they have a life outside your business,” he said. “Other responsibilities would include making sure that all documentation is adequately taken care of in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.”
Coleman said it’s especially important to ensure that the required documents are organized and accessible.
“Another responsibility that covers many areas would be that you are the decision maker,” he added. “You have a responsibility to be decisive in the areas of management, sales strategies, market research and so on.”
Shoaf said it’s important to surround yourself with great people and to treat them like they’re important.
“They are an extension of your business, a direct reflection of your company and your brand,” he said. “Treat your team as they are your most valued part of your business.”
Russell said that it’s always good to check with a CPA or attorney to be sure you’re meeting all of your employer responsibilities because they should be taken very seriously.
“It is extremely important to start in business with advice that is specific to the type of business being formed,” he said. “A mistake from the beginning because of lack of professional advice could be the difference in being successful or not.”
Russell added that the City of Florissant will help applicants in any way possible during the process, and that you should really have your business ready to launch before you sign a lease.
“It should be a requirement,” he said.
Important Resources for Employers
- The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to fulfill certain responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Get the full list of responsibilities and learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against people with disabilities. The ADA’s primary provisions regarding employment include equal hiring opportunities for disabled people, special accommodations provided to job applicants and workers with disabilities (when making these accommodations wouldn’t cause “undue hardship” for the employer) and equal opportunities in promotions and benefits. Learn more about the ADA and labor-related laws at the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
- The Small Business Association (SBA) offers a free step-by-step tutorial on how to hire your first employee, including resources and related links for each step.
- The State of Missouri’s Division of Employment Security offers a free 33-page download that outlines your rights and responsibilities as an employer in Missouri under the Missouri Employment Security Law.
In Case You Missed It
- In case you’ve missed previous editions of our small business series, we have shared ideas for choosing a business concept, including the and .
- We’ve also discussed and given tips and ideas on ways to find . We’ve discussed , offered , and last week, we covered .
About the Experts
- Bob Russell is the City of Florissant's ecomonic developer.
- owns several locally-based businesses, including and . Both companies serve business owners in Florissant.
- Chris Coleman owns St. Louis-based FranNet, a company that helps would-be business owners choose and develop franchise businesses. FranNet's clients include several Florissant area business owners, Coleman said.
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Do you own your own business in Florissant? We want to share your story with the community! Contact Patch reporter Angela Atkinson at email@example.com to arrange for an interview.