It’s a geeky hobby of mine, browsing through the statutes to see what interesting topics the legislature was thinking about. Like in Illinois where one needs to be licensed to engage in the business of removing eggs from their shells. Seriously.
Here’s just a few interesting regulations in North Carolina that may impact your business, certainly if you’re starting a business you should call a qualified business lawyer like myself to make sure it complies with all state and federal requirements:
ELECTRICAL DEVICE SALES
All electrical devices sold or gifted in NC must bear the manufacturer’s name and voltage, current or wattage sufficient to determine the use for which it was intended.
INTRASTATE SALES OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
Federal law is full of regulations for hazardous substances (pesticides, chemicals, cleaners). NC however has its own law. If a hazardous “volatile” household cleaner is distributed solely in North Carolina the label must bear the mark “Caution” or similar, have instructions for use, and must identify the toxic substance in the container.
Someone who gets a loan or credit on behalf of a person from a third party is a “loan broker” in North Carolina. Loan brokers must comply with disclosure laws (such as name, length of time one has been a loan broker); bonding requirements ($10,000); and loan broker contracts must be in writing.
PREPAID DANCE, DATING AND MARTIAL ARTS CONTRACTS
In North Carolina, every prepaid dating match service, dance lesson, health club, and martial arts contract must be in writing. The contract must contain a set duration, have a complete statement of the “buyer’s rights” contained in the statute, and a bold faced statement of the right to cancel up to three days after signing. No prepaid contract can have a duration of more than three years. Finally any business offering these services must provide a bond “ equal to the aggregate value of outstanding liabilities to buyers”.
CREDIT REPAIR SERVICES
Credit repair services are also regulated in North Carolina. To protect consumers from unscrupulous credit repair businesses, such businesses must follow the statute. They cannot charge for services prior to actually performing the service; charge money for referring a client to a credit grantor, if the terms offered by the credit grantor are the same as those available to the public. It can’t represent that the business can arrange for the removal of derogatory information from the consumer’s credit report or otherwise improve the consumer’s credit report or rating; likewise they can’t counsel a consumer to lie or cheat
In addition there’s a requirement that the contract between the entity and the consumer be in writing, that it contain notices of the right to cancel, and that it contain a full and complete statement of the services to be offered. The Act even gives the exact language that needs to be in the contract.
I’ll post some more interesting NC laws in another blog post. If you are starting a new business, call me for legal help with federal and state statute and regulatory compliance, Asheville or Chicago (312) 671-6453.