Keeping Up with Compliance: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Business on the Right Side of the Law
Whether you’re focused on getting your new passion project off the ground or want to take your business to the next level, founders are typically more interested in big innovations than the subtleties of business law. However, failing to dot every “I” and cross every legal “T” can lead to lawsuits and investigations that could unravel all you’ve built.
To curb the likelihood of that happening, implement the five tips below to keep up with compliance:
Monitor changes in industry regulations
Most businesses operate under the working assumption that they’re complying with the laws and regulations governing taxes, privacy, trademarks, recalls, and more.
Unfortunately, these regulations are complex and ever-evolving—especially if you’re working in finance, education, healthcare, or other highly regulated industries. On top of industry-specific rules, regulations may also vary from region to region, making relevant, expert help a necessity.
If you’re operating in regional Victoria, Wodonga solicitors would be your best bet for complying with Australia’s region-specific laws. If you’re in Mississippi, you’d want to look for the best local lawyers who understand the relevant state and federal laws. In both cases, your business lawyer should help you understand and comply with the ever-evolving nature of industry regulations. In addition to an initial, preventative meeting, consider periodic check-in calls or refreshers to stay aware of relevant changes.
Perform regular compliance audits
Whether you decide to work with a legal professional or not, it’s vital that you conduct regular, compliance audits. This gives you a chance to review your internal processes and check whether everyone is:
- Aware of relevant policies
- Properly trained in key concepts
- Diligent about keeping records
- Skilled in the use of tech and tools that promote rule adherence
Be on the lookout for potential problems—missing software access controls, inadequate harassment reporting, and other potentially problematic scenarios—and then course-correct before those potentials become a reality.
Get adequate insurance coverage
Despite being diligent in your compliance efforts, there’s still no way to completely avoid misconduct, negligence, accidents, or even natural disasters. However, adequate insurance coverage can dramatically reduce the negative effects of these unexpected events.
Since the meaning of “adequate” varies from industry to industry and region to region, it’s often helpful to reach out to informed insurance brokers for help. They can ensure you take advantage of relevant deductibles and optimize your overall costs without compromising on the protection you need.
Insist on written agreements
Verbal deals with partners may seem fine at first. However, without binding written agreements that document project details and key info, you may find yourself in legal hot water if the partnership unravels.
To ensure the protection of both parties, write every agreement down. Rely on templates to cover the basics, then customize with project-specific details. And, of course, require signatures and store your documents safely.
Foster an open company culture
The majority of employee litigation traces back to a toxic company culture. The upside of this is that lawsuits can often be prevented by proactively responding and resolving harassment, discrimination, and other unsafe conditions the moment they arise.
Fostering an open company culture helps. Alongside promoting healthy communication and welcoming constructive input from everyone, consider creating anonymous feedback portals. This ensures anyone who feels uncomfortable speaking up can still have their voice heard. Then you can work together to solve any issues.
Although staying attentive to situations that might trigger legal liabilities is important, it need not be your sole focus. By implementing the preventative measures above, you can take a proactive approach that mitigates the likelihood of lawsuits, allowing you to focus on business growth instead.