When the laws change, your business may need to change

Residents across Minnesota are raising a glass and toasting to the recently repealed ban that prohibited liquor stores in the state from operating on Sundays. Business owners, on the other hand, may be less than enthused with the new law.

Changes to state laws have a very real impact on the people who own and operate companies here. They can affect everything from staffing to utility expenses, and they could prompt some business owners to sell or expand their company or possibly merge with another company. From a legal perspective, these adjustments can be more easily managed if you are prepared for them and if you have support.

For instance, if you are going to be open on Sunday when you previously were not, you are going to have to staff your business. This could mean shifting schedules, taking on new employees or transitioning part-time employees to full-time employees. In any of these situations, you will need to be sure you properly classify and compensate your workers.

Operational costs could increase, as it costs money to run heating and air conditioners, lights and other utilities. Being open seven days instead of six could bump these expenses up just enough that you have to make some tough decisions, from terminating an employee to renegotiating supplier contracts. While these are business decisions, they have legal ramifications if they do not comply with state and federal laws.

Merging with another company or selling a business to minimize the financial burden of this change could be an attractive option for some who fear the change will be financially negative. On the other hand, added revenue could be substantial enough for a business owner to buy more commercial space and open up a new location. Each of these options can work in a business owner’s favor if done properly.

The reality of how this law change is going to affect businesses remains to be seen. However, with some preparation and consultation with an attorney, business owners can position themselves to make any necessary adjustments and avoid costly missteps.