Starting a small business in California can be a complex process. From finding appropriate space for your operations to putting the necessary legal protections in place, there are many things that you must address before you even open your doors to the public. One of the things you would be wise to consider is adherence to the ADA.
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it requires certain types of businesses and public places to meet particular standards that would allow disabled individuals to access the facilities. These standards can affect everything from bathroom sink height to dining seats in restaurants. Before you assume that the ADA does not affect your business, you could be wise to fully understand your obligations and your rights as a business owner.
What should you know about ADA compliance?
The intent of the ADA is to provide disabled individuals with the ability to enjoy public places and access necessary facilities. However, the requirements that this law place on small business owners can be confusing, and some owners and operators are unaware of the fact that they may have to comply.
Under the ADA, most businesses and places that the public could visit must provide reasonable access and accommodations to people with disabilities. The following are things you should consider as a business owner:
- The law recognizes the expense small businesses can face when adding accommodations for disabled individuals. There are certain guidelines for businesses in spaces built before 1993.
- Businesses have the obligation remove barriers in their buildings that could prevent disabled individual from enjoying the space if it is achievable without excessive difficulty or expense.
- New construction should meet the standards set forth by the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
As a business owner, it is prudent for you to understand your obligations and work to ensure you do not face future complications as a result of failure to comply with ADA regulations.
Protecting your business
You worked hard to build your business, and legal issues such as those pertaining to ADA compliance can be costly and stressful. You can avoid stress and extra costs by working to learn about your business's obligations regarding accessibility and modifications to your building.
If you are starting a business or want to know more about the legal issues you should consider, you may find it helpful to start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case and an explanation of how you should proceed as a small business owner.