Striving to succeed in business can feel a lot like treading water in the early days, particularly if it happens to be your first time navigating the various complexities of compliancy regulations.
Even if it might not seem like it right now, compliancy laws do in fact exist to protect your business and your customers, but this tends to make them no less intricate upon first glance.
A truly exciting journey awaits the vigilant new business owner, providing they can keep their efforts above board.
Suffice to say, there is a great deal to contend with on the way up. From budget constraints, a lack of workforce, and countless other setbacks, your resolve can help you take on some of the largest hurdles.
If you need help navigating the road ahead, or rather, avoiding some massive fines (always handy) then here are some top tips to get you started.
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Utilize the Right Software
Going it alone is totally doable, but it might not be the easiest journey in the world, and there is a good chance that you might end up failing to make the most out of your time.
It’s also important to understand that compliance laws don’t just affect big businesses—every company must adhere to some form of regulatory body.
There are some great software options out there, many of which can ensure that you remain compliant with various regulatory bodies at any given moment. For example, if you aim to operate online in any capacity, it is certainly worth thinking about introducing a dependable software integration to help you out with AML compliance.
Making sure your company (and your customers for that matter) operates in accordance with anti-money laundering regulations is vital, and it is an intrinsic process in countless industries, from gaming and finance to healthcare and retail.
The fines for failing to properly regulate your online transactions can be monumental. You don’t even need to look very hard to stumble across a high-profile case nowadays.
Choose Your Partners Wisely
Working with the wrong person and/or organization may result in not only a damaged reputation, but an inadvertent breach of compliancy laws.
Say you wanted to evoke a brand image of trustworthiness and integrity—partnering with a company that carries out shady or plain underhanded business tactics (and is known for doing so) can greatly distort public opinion of your company in a negative way.
Plus, if your business partner is carrying out illegal practices, you may end up being liable in some way, even if you feel as though you are genuinely without fault or blame.
Conversely, the best business partners can bolster your entrepreneurial efforts to no end, so do not hesitate to start searching for your next meaningful connection!
Hire an Advisor
If you can spare the capital (which may be tough when just starting out), it might be worth hiring an expert advisor just to be on the safe side.
You may not need to this just yet, but if your company is on the verge of expanding, or you need some professional direction, then turning to a specialist is usually a good option.
There are a vast array of compliancy laws and regulations to wrap your head around, and they can seemingly change on a dime.
Depending on the industry, the size, the geographical location, federal laws, state laws, and many other factors, your business’s compliancy requirements will likely shift over time, so having an advisor to help you keep track of your changing needs may be a good way to move forward.
Consult a Legal Firm
What better way to equip yourself to deal with the law than to consult an expert legal professional?
You may be able to get yourself a free consultation just by reaching out, but it’s probably worth keeping a few professionals on your radar, as you will likely need to turn to them at various points in your company’s life cycle.
Know What to Watch Out For
Without getting to know the basics, i.e. what your business needs to comply with in the first place, preparing for the road ahead can be somewhat impossible.
This means getting hold of the right legal documentation and paying attention to your local business laws.
Licensing regulations can also vary drastically from state to state, but provided you cover yourself with the right ones based on your current locale, then you should be okay.
Some of the more common (and expensive) compliancy breaches worth watching out for include:
Failing to comply with data security regulations can land you in some seriously hot water. You have probably already heard of the some of the many large GDPR fines dished out over the last few years, but they aren’t the only regulatory body to consider. Fines of this size can be devastating for a small business, so try and avoid this at all costs.
PCI DSS stands for payment card industry data security standard, and it exists to make sure that companies take care of their customers’ credit card data and sensitive information. If you are unable to remain PCI compliant, then you could end up getting stopped from taking card payments and fined, too.
Health and safety breaches:
If your premises or your work culture are in breach of health and safety requirements, you might be putting your workers in danger, let alone leaving yourself subject to fines and brand damage.
Environmental concerns are rife among countless progressively minded business owners and socially conscious modern consumers alike. There are laws that prevent you from causing certain types of harm to the environment, so you may need to check in with your local state regulations to ensure you are operating legitimately.
Develop a Compliance Strategy
If you are worried about breaking compliance laws in the future, why not come up with your own strategy?
A solid plan can give you piece of mind and help inform you of which direction to take next, should you need to make any changes.