Hot Tip: Integrated Employers
If you own more than one company, you may risk losing your small-business exemption under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Department of Labor sometimes classifies a cluster of businesses as an "integrated employer" if the companies are consolidated in some way. Franchised and spin-off business models are particularly vulnerable to that charge. You might be an integrated employer if your company and another company have a collective-buying agreement or common ownership and management, file joint tax returns, or share a location, board members or employees, or banking relationships. Having any one of those items doesn't make you an integrated employer, but if you have more than one, make sure you're complying with the FMLA, just to be safe.