It's OK to Lie Online in Rhode Island and Other Quirky New State Laws Happy hour pricing is now legal in Kansas thanks to a new state law. It's just one of many now taking effect with an impact on small businesses. We offer this sampling.

By Mikal E. Belicove

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Its OK to Lie Online in Rhode Island and Other Quirky New State Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on federal health-care reform dominated the news last week, leaving small-business owners with more questions than answers. With far less fanfare -- a slew of new state laws went into effect for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Many of these state mandates might seem a bit wacky on the surface, but they're all going to affect someone who operates a business or other enterprise.

What we've compiled below is a list of some of the more unusual new laws that were enacted in time for the fiscal July 1 deadline:

Rhode Island: Now you can legally tell a "white lie" online in Little Rhody. State lawmakers repealed legislation that mandated fines and jail time for authoring untruths on the Internet. That means employees won't be going to jail for emailing in sick when they're really at the beach.

Indiana: It's now legal to buy, sell or trade motorcycles on Sundays. Unlike car dealerships, which are closed on Sundays in the state, motorcycle dealers have always been able to sell parts on Sunday, even enough parts to build a bike if the customer so desired. The new law allows them to sell the whole vehicle seven days a week. No such luck for auto dealers.

Related: How the U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling to Uphold 'Obamacare' May Affect Small Businesses

Virginia: The honey industry is abuzz with new legislation that provides $200 grants to registered beekeepers for every new beehive purchased. Also in Virginia, breweries can now sell visitors full glasses of beer, even if there is no restaurant on site. This is welcome news for the small craft brewery industry where previously, owners could only provide free samples to patrons.

Kansas: Happy hour is back, which is worth a toast from restaurateurs. A 27-year ban on happy hour prices prompted bars to offer daylong specials. Best news for the tavern owners is that patrons no longer happily head to nearby Missouri for their discount drinking.

Idaho: Law enforcement can now issue arrest warrants by fax, and since most citizens don't have a fax machine at home, such warrants could be issued to an employee at work via the employer's fax machine. Awkward. Of course, this law would prove less so for those with home offices.

California: A state assembly bill passed into law now requires commercial trash recycling for businesses and apartment buildings of more than four units that have more than four cubic yards of waste per week.

Mississippi: A new state Senate bill favoring employers in a workers' compensation dispute says no payment will be owed a worker found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when an on-the-job injury occurs. Happy hour Kansans should be glad they don't reside in Mississippi.

Related: Main Street Merchants Aren't Deterred by Red Tape

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


The CEO of Catholic Prayer and Meditation App Hallow Says Founders Need to Be Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves

On this episode of "The CEO Series," learn about the soulful journey of Hallow's CEO and founder Alex Jones.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Get More Done with ChatGPT for Just $20

This ChatGPT course can help you streamline your business.

Growing a Business

Lifetime Access to Business Advice with This AI-Powered Service is Just $29.99

With Consultio Pro, you'll find expertise on topics like data analysis, financial analysis, innovation management, and so much more.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.