How Your Business is Connected to the Government Walter Bodell Government, Politics & Economics No matter what your thoughts on the situation, your business and the government are deeply intertwined. This relationship is one that can be complicated, providing businesses with the foundations they need to run but also providing frustrating roadblocks at the same time. Understanding the importance of the government to your business means understanding a few of the ways that your business is impacted by the government on a daily basis. Licensing The government is often responsible for not only how you run your business, but also whether it can be started at all. Professional licenses are required for running an increasingly large number of businesses, especially on a local level. There are also certain local licenses required for selling specific items like alcoholic beverages. Licensure tends to be done on the state level rather than the federal level, but failure to obtain a proper license is definitely something that can stop your business before you ever open the front doors. Always pay attention to whether you need a license to conduct a certain type of business. Taxes Taxation is a major issue for most businesses. Every business is impacted by taxes one way or another, be it through direct taxes on earnings or indirect taxes that impact their bottom lines in other ways. Figuring out how taxes will impact your business usually requires the help of a financial professional, which ends up as another cost that a business must bear. The ever-changing tax situation also means that business owners must constantly educate themselves on how their finances will be impacted by decisions made in Washington. Workforce Development The government plays a huge role in helping connect potential employees with your business through Workforce Development. What does Workforce Development mean? Simply put, it is a series of interconnected programs that help to better train and prepare workers for the workplace. These initiatives are incredibly important in the business world as they are often more focused on real-world skills than a typical educational experience, which in turn helps to produce workers who are a better fit for many business environments. Without these programs, it would be difficult for many businesses to find qualified workers. Regulations Often spoken of with the same kind of distaste that most reserve for their most hated enemies, businesses are often both hampered and helped by a variety of governmental regulations. Regulations can impact everything from how many hours your employees can work to the way that you dispose of your old documents. While regulations might impact the way you do business, it’s also important to remember that regulations can also play a huge role in how your business’ money is spent. Keeping up with changing regulations can be a pricey process, but it’s nonetheless one that is necessary. Infrastructure The government rules surrounding infrastructure may not seem like they touch directly on how a business operates, but the truth is that most businesses depend upon the government to keep a flow of goods coming in and out. Well-repaired roads, for example, are a necessity for any business that needs customers to come in from anywhere farther than walking distance. Businesses can also see major challenges and changes any time the government changes the rules for any kind of freight delivery service. While infrastructure often seems invisible, it has a huge impact on the way that most businesses operate and whether they can remain successful. Every business has a connection to the government. Be it through worker training programs or taxation, through the use of governmental infrastructure or having to follow governmental regulations, these connections run deep. Once you understand a bit about how your business is connected to the government, you can understand why it is your best interest as a business owner to keep up with the news that impacts businesses around the country. Featured image courtesy of the Library of Congress.