Law & Order

12 LINKS GUARANTEED TO HELP YOUR SMALL BUSINESS THRIVE

Most SEMA-member companies are small businesses. SEMA has compiled a webpage which provides links to federal and state government resources dedicated to small-business issues. The material is divided into 12 separate categories ranging from business planning and financial assistance to an overview of labor and tax laws. The information is available at: Small Business Issues.

SAFEGUARD YOUR COMPANY AGAINST ILLEGAL KNOCKOFFS AND COUNTERFEITS

Why lose market share to counterfeit or knockoff products?

SEMA has assembled an all-star cast of experts to help you learn how to protect your intellectual property through patents, trademarks, and copyrights. This invaluable seminar, scheduled Monday, November 3, a day before the 2008 SEMA Show begins, will allow you to focus on this important topic without worrying about lost Show sales.

CALIFORNIA BILL TO REQUIRE ANNUAL EMISSIONS INSPECTIONS FOR OLDER CARS FAILS . . . AGAIN!

SEMA defeated California legislation to require annual (rather than biennial) smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older. The bill would also have required that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which could then be used to scrap older cars. In an effort to sneak the bill through in the closing days of the legislative session, California Assemblyman Dave Jones amended a completely unrelated bill with the annual smog-check inspection language. 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO EXPENSE $250,000 WORTH OF NEW BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

Last February, Congress raised the annual expensing limits to $250,000 (from $128,000) for 2008 when a company purchases new machinery and equipment.  Otherwise, the cost is generally spread over a number of years as the property depreciates in value. The depreciation is referred to as a "Section 179 deduction" and appears on IRS Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization). The election must be taken in the tax year the property was first placed in service. Lawmakers also included a bonus depreciation deduction of 50% for 2008 and increased the phase-out cap based on total equip

FEDS DELAY START DATE FOR “SIMPLIFIED” FEDERAL LIGHTING STANDARD

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has delayed the effective date for the revised lighting standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, from September 1, 2008 to December 1, 2009. The extra time is necessary to confirm that there were no changes of substance as the agency completed its two-year mission to reorganize and simplify FMVSS No. 108. 

OFF-ROADERS MAY GAIN ACCESS TO 2 MILLION ACRES IN UTAH

Nearly 2.1 million acres of land in central Utah would be open to off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and energy development under a proposed resource management plan issued by the federal government. The land is controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Richfield office and located in Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, Garfield and Kane Counties. Among other actions, the plan would permit substantially increased OHV use in the Factory Butte badlands area, which has been subject to restricted access due to concerns about endangered plants. 

GOVERNMENT INCREASES SAFETY OVERSIGHT OF CONSUMER PRODUCTS

President Bush intends to sign into law legislation to increase the authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect the public from unsafe or substandard products. The CPSC has jurisdiction over more than 15,000 consumer products, from toys to refrigerators. The agency has been a focus of attention following a number of consumer product defects in 2007, from toys to pet food and pharmaceuticals. The landmark legislation was passed with near-unanimous Congressional consent and will increase the CPSC’s resources, authority and testing requirements.  

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