Understanding Regulations - Federal and State Government Directives
Regulation is the systematic management of intricate systems based on a group of predetermined rules and principles. In systems theory, such systems exist in different fields of life and biology, but the word has slightly different meanings depending on context. In business regulation, for instance, it refers to rules that regulate businesses and other enterprises to ensure that they remain profitable and to serve their needs. In health care regulation, it focuses on the protection of individual patients.
In United States, the government sets most of the regulations. Congress is the main source of regulations because it determines how the regulations should be made. Federal agencies are also responsible for making laws that govern specific agencies or businesses. The United States Department of Labor, for example, develops labor regulations and enacts other statutes that protect workers from abuse at work. Other federal departments, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Trade Commission, issue regulations to protect consumers from fraud and other unfair practices.
Regulations, if enacted by the federal government, become part of the US law. They form the legal foundation for all business activities, domestic and foreign. Business regulations often affect the way a company operates because they specify how products, services, and procedures must be conducted. Regulations can also limit the access of certain people to goods and services. Regulations can also set standards for different levels of quality, ensure compliance with legal requirements, protect people from unfair treatment, and ensure the safety of the public.
Business regulations have become an essential part of managing businesses. There are many different types of regulations for every business. Some of these regulations are compulsory and imposed by the United States government. These are called public regulations, because they affect the general public. Examples of these regulations include fuel standards, food ingredients, personal protective equipment, workplace safety, and financial regulations.
Regulations can also be imposed by state governments and the federal government. Examples of these regulations are air pollution, genetically modified food, gambling, and telephone harassment laws. The regulation process varies greatly among the three types of regulations. For instance, when it comes to federal regulations, agencies establish the regulations first before they go to the private sector, and then once in the private sector they review the regulations.
Regulations that are required by the federal government are mainly established by regulatory law. This means that a large part of the regulations that affect business are mandated by federal law. Some of these laws are found in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which regulates healthcare practices for healthcare companies. The Small Business Act regulates many aspects of the private sector, including insurance, taxes, and labor. The Obama administration has also made it easier for small business owners to get government loans and grants.
Private sector regulations differ from federal regulations. In some ways, these regulations are more similar to those required of businesses in the United States. For instance, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate various aspects of food production, packaging, and safety. However, in other ways, they are radically different. For example, food regulation is primarily governed by the FDA while environmental regulation is primarily governed by state environmental agencies. The EPA sets national limits on amounts of mercury and other harmful chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of plastic products, while the FDA does not regulate the content of such chemicals.
As you can see, the regulations - whether federal or state related - that your business must abide by greatly depend on the business structure and the industry it is engaged in. Therefore, as a business owner, it is vitally important that you understand the regulations governing your business. Not knowing the regulations will place your business at risk. If you are unsure of the regulations, seek professional advice from a business attorney who will ensure that you comply with all regulations - federal, state, and local - ensuring your company's compliance with all applicable laws.