COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients
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Idaho Business Law Keeping Good Records During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Business Attorney

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on small businesses in Idaho. In my article from last week where I talked about the things that you can do to protect your Idaho small business, I mentioned several Federal programs that have been enacted to help protect your business. These include the Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA Debt Relief program, and other similar programs. If you missed that article, I suggest you go back and read it to find information that may be helpful for your small business.

In today’s article, I’m going to talk about the records that you should be keeping during the Coronavirus pandemic that could have an impact in protecting and helping your business. Even though many things have changed because of the pandemic, the need to keep good business records is just as important now as it has always been.

At Racine Olson, we have assisted business owners in both the creation and operation of their businesses in Idaho for more than 70 years. Our team of Idaho business attorneys include partners Lane Erickson and TJ Budge, and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys is skilled and experienced with business transactions and in helping all of our business clients. We are available and can answer your questions now about how to continue to operate and protect your small business even during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Timecards for Employees

The first type of records that you should still be keeping for your small business includes the timecards or timesheets for your employees. If you have not been diligent in keeping these records before the Coronavirus pandemic, we encourage you to do your best to update your records and began keeping them accurately from this time forward.

Even with the Coronavirus in place, the need to keep accurate time records for your employees is vital. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act still applies to you. This means that if you have hourly employees who are continuing to work for you, you are still required to report their records so that their pay and taxes can be accurately calculated. This is particularly true if overtime hours are worked.

Additionally, under the new CARES Act which is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, certain loans that can be made to your small business and unemployment benefits that may go to your employees are all going to be based on the time records you kept or are currently keeping for your employees.

Contracts (Look at the Terms)

The next area of documents and records that you should be aware of is any and all contracts that your business entered into prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. You should have a copy of each of these contracts. With the slowdown of the economy, and many businesses coming to a halt, it would be important for you to review these contracts. The terms and conditions in each of these contracts will provide you with the information you need to know about what it is your small business is still obligated to do or has the right to receive from another party.

Many contracts have an actual Force Majeure clause in them. This is a fancy legal term that simply means if any Act of God or nature makes performance under an existing contract impossible, you would be excused from having to perform that contract. In other words, it’s possible that due to the Coronavirus, you may be relieved of obligations you may have in a current contract that exists. This also means that other parties may be relieved of their obligations that they normally would owe to you and your business. The only way that you will know for sure is if you review your written contracts.

Taxes and New Business Expenses

Additionally, you should also keep all documents and records necessary for your small business’s taxes and for any new business expenses that arise as a result of the Coronavirus. It’s likely that there are going to be great tax relief efforts made for small businesses as a result of the virus. These relief efforts are going to require your documents and records.

In addition to this, even though the tax filing deadlines may have been extended, there is still a requirement that taxes be filed. This includes taxes for your small business.

Our firm is still operating. We are here to help you with any questions you have about your small business. We encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation if you have questions or concerns about how the Coronavirus is impacting your small business. We have already helped numerous clients and we are confident that we can help you too!

ENLIST AN IDAHO BUSINESS ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU

Our team of Idaho business lawyers can help you with any of your business structure or operation needs. Whether you are seeking to create a new business or review a current business, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will set up an appointment to answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho business problems.

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