Making sure your business meets all of the state, local and federal compliance laws is very important because your business can face severe penalties should you fail. These are five of the ways you can help ensure your business meets compliance requirements.
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1. Utilize Compliance Software
One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining compliance is keeping up with all the changing rules and regulations. Utilizing compliance software can help you stay on top of changing laws because these programs should be updated whenever a law, process, rule or guideline changes. To ensure compliance, it is best to either use a subscription service or a program that automatically updates.
2. Make Sure You Are in Good Standing
To make sure your business is currently compliant, you should obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your state and check periodically to make sure it is still valid. This certificate verifies that your business is registered with the state, paid up on fees, has filed all necessary documents and is allowed to conduct business in the state. Most certificates have an expiration date. You will usually need to renew your certificate and submit any required documents and fees on that expiration date.
3. Get Registered and Obtain Licenses
Most states require businesses to register with the state to legally conduct business. You will need to follow your state’s guidelines to register your business name and acquire any necessary licenses or permits.
4. Consider Outsourcing Your HR Department
Many small businesses can not afford to pay for a full-time human resources department. You can ensure your business stays compliant by outsourcing these functions to an independent HR service. Because doing HR is their full-time business, they should be familiar with the rules and regulations and stay up-to-date on anything that changes.
5. Consult With an Attorney
It can be useful to have an attorney review your processes and documentation periodically to ensure you are still compliant. An experienced attorney should be familiar with the laws in your state and may find areas of non-compliance that internal employees may miss. An attorney may also be able to assist you should you face disciplinary action due to compliance oversight.
Because many laws govern how businesses operate and those laws change periodically, it can be a challenge to keep a small business compliant. Establishing internal procedures and double-checking those procedures with external help can make it easier to stay compliant.