Wake up on the right side of the grass.
As a business owner, you have responsibilities. You have to increase profits while compensating your workers. You have to provide services that your clients want while staying innovative.
Business ownership can be overwhelming. But you have tools at your disposal, enshrined in the Constitution. You have rights.
Here are seven business rights you should know.
- Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all Americans. That goes for business owners as well as employees.
You have the right to advertise. Congress has imposed a few restrictions on advertisements toward children, but you can otherwise advertise as you wish.
You have the right to donate to political campaigns. You can place and distribute political information in your establishment. Your employees can attend political events, and you cannot fire them for going to those events.
- Intellectual Property
You have the right to protect your trade secrets, designs, and inventions. You can use patents, copyrights, and trademarks to protect your property.
You will have to apply for any formal protections. Your applications can be denied. But you can apply for any property that you have created.
- Freedom to Strategize
Many things pose threats to your business. You have the right to prepare against those threats.
You can convene meetings to talk strategy. You can hire consultants and lawyers to help you in the marketplace and court. You can separate your personal assets from your business assets, protecting your business if you declare bankruptcy.
- Freedom of Association
You have the right to associate with groups. You can hold political, social, or religious meetings in your establishment. Your business can join community boards, coalitions, and chambers of commerce.
You also have the right not to associate. You do not have to join a coalition, even if everyone else has joined.
- Right to Refuse Service
You can refuse service based on dress codes and safety laws. If a customer is not wearing a shirt, you can ask them to leave.
But any customs you maintain must apply to everyone. You cannot turn away a Black customer who doesn’t have a shirt and then allow a naked white person in.
You cannot deny service based on race, color, ethnicity, or religion. Some states also do not permit you to deny service because of sexual orientation and gender identity.
You have the right to raise as much capital as you need. You can invest as much capital as you want into your business.
You can franchise your business, and you can open an IPO. You can invest in other businesses, including overseas, and you can receive overseas investments.
- Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment
The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate international and interstate commerce. But their powers are not infinite.
The Tenth Amendment states that any power not given to the government belongs to the states and people. If Congress or the state government doesn’t regulate a practice, you can follow that practice as you see fit.
Business Rights and Responsibilities
Everything will be alright. Once you know your business rights, you can pursue the right business practices for you.
You have freedoms of speech, intellectual property, and strategy. You have the right to free association and to deny service. You can invest your money however you please, and you have all rights that Congress has not restricted.
These are some basic business rights. Learn more rights and responsibilities on our website.