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How to Keep Your Business Legally Compliant

By | Sierra Powell

A key to growing a successful business is ensuring its compliance. Every state has laws that businesses must comply with. If you don’t do what the state requires, you may be charged penalties or forced to close your business. Here are a few ways to keep your business safe.

Get a Certificate of Good Standing

To confirm that your business is in good standing, ask for a certificate of good standing. The state gives this document to businesses. It proves that your business is in compliance.

Lenders and businesses in other states may ask you for a certificate of good standing before they do business with you. You may be charged fees if you don’t have this certificate.

Hire an Attorney

Business leaders face an ever-changing world. Hiring an attorney is the best way for them to filter through the noise and identify the compliance issues that affect them. Going into business without using the services of trusted counsel would be as unadvisable as an accident victim in Long Island going up against an insurance company without a Long Island car accident lawyer to back them up.

A business attorney can help clients with issues that they may face throughout the life of their business. This includes learning about and making decisions about the type of legal entity to choose and how to stay compliant with the tax laws for that entity. A business attorney can help an organization when dealing with employees versus independent contractors. Signing contracts, interacting with government entities that may be investigating the business, or firing employees are all compliance issues that fall under the purview of a business attorney.

Automate When Possible

Small business owners have a lot of things on their plate. It can be difficult to adhere to government and industry regulations as these are constantly changing. Failure to adhere to these regulations can be stressful and costly.

There are a lot of questions that small businesses need to answer. For example, is patent information being handled correctly? Are tax issues, especially those linked to employment taxes, being handled in harmony with IRS regulations?

Some industries, such as healthcare, finance, and the law, are highly regulated. Keeping up with changing compliance standards wastes time and resources. However, if a small business automates processes where possible, they can be sure that they are crossing every T and dotting every I. Compliance allows businesses to integrate rules into their workflow. This guarantees that employees are following the right procedures and that all work done complies with industry standards and regulations.

There are several software developers who create business-related products that automatically update to reflect changes in accounting and tax laws. Using this software can be a lifesaver for small businesses looking to stay in compliance.

Get off to a Good Start

When something starts well, it usually continues on a good path. When something starts bad, it usually continues in that way. This concept definitely applies to business compliance.

Many small business owners see compliance as a catch-all term. Since they view it as a nebulous concept, they don’t give compliance issues the importance they deserve as they build their new business.

Laws vary based on the industry an organization is in and the state the business is based in. Laws will also vary depending on how a business is structured. Staying in compliance with local, state, and federal laws can seem overwhelming, especially on days when there are issues that affect the company’s core competence.

Therefore, businesses need to build compliance into their business environment from the beginning. This includes external requirements, such as federal, state, and local laws. They also include internal requirements, such as those that provide transparency and allow a business to operate with integrity.

It is important to work these good standards into the company’s structure from the beginning. This will make it easier to maintain clear and up-to-date records of policies, procedures, and transactions.

For highly regulated industries, staying in compliance is a continual process. Healthcare organizations are required to adhere to HEPA. However, some principles of HEPA apply to most businesses.

Small business owners want to protect their good standing. This means starting things off right and keeping things on track as the business grows.


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