When you go into business, you are very likely to quickly encounter the word “compliance”. This is something that you are going to have to follow extremely closely, no matter what. Compliance in business is something that just can’t be ignored. Let’s take a closer look at what this issue is, and why it is so important.
Compliance is the act of agreeing to and following laws, rules, and other regulations. As a business owner, you will be subject to a number of different laws, and you need to make sure that your business is fully compliant with them at all times.
Though this might sound like it is simple enough to do, it can actually be more of an issue than you might think. Remember that the law is changing and shifting constantly. New statutes can be introduced, and laws can be up for inspection and renewal at any moment, so companies need to make sure that they are compliant with the latest laws no matter what.
The hard part here can be keeping up with laws as they chop and change. Businesses need to be aware of any changes to the law that might affect them, as claiming ignorance after the fact is not going to be a reasonable defence. For this reason among others, many companies choose to keep a lawyer on retainer so they can receive legal advice about changes to the law that might affect them. Here are some of the most common areas of law that a business will face, that they must remain compliant with no matter what.
Local Tax Laws
Every jurisdiction handles their tax in slightly different ways. Some arrange for it to be taken at a national level, so you pay the same tax bracket no matter where you might be located. Others break it up a little more. For example, those in the US often have to pay taxes to their state. Everywhere handles it slightly differently.
Paying tax correctly is one of the most important things a business has to do. You can very quickly run into some serious trouble if you do not pay your taxes correctly. Though it can sometimes seem incredibly fiddly to have to pay taxes, it is a task that must be done. Hiring the services of an account to make sure that taxes are properly identified and then paid will be crucial. Governments come down very hard on companies that do not pay their taxes correctly, so businesses of all sizes need to ensure that they are complying with current tax legislation.
Data protection laws are concrete and are very strict. With the rise of the internet has come a rise in cybercrime, and many companies can find themselves under attack from fraudsters and other malicious parties who are looking to either harm the company or steal the personal and financial details of customers.
Smaller companies tend to receive more of these attacks than larger corporations. While the big businesses might have more valuable data to steal, they also have the resources to be able to properly protect it. This is not always the case with smaller companies, who may not be able to bounce back from a cyber-attack quite so easily. This is why EMV compliance is crucial for businesses of all sizes – whether they are brick-and-mortar units or operating entirely online. With EMV compliance in place, a business should be able to fight back against fraudsters.
A business is nothing without its employees, and many owners expect their workers to put a lot of effort in to helping the company through both highs and lows. However, there are certain restrictions on this. Whether it concerns full-time employees or part-time ones, there are specific laws in place to protect the wellbeing of your workers.
These can cover elements including maximum hours they can work per week, how much holiday time they receive, holiday and sick pay, and breaks on shift – to name but a few of the many areas that employment law covers. This is one area prone to change, so a company should ensure that they are in contact with an employment lawyer, so their contracts are always up to date. Complying with employment and labour laws goes beyond protecting the company, it is also about protecting employees and ensuring that you are a good boss.
If you manufacture products of any sort to be sold through your business, you need to make sure that they comply with various manufacturing standards. Those who make protected items also need to ensure that they are fulfilling the standards set out by the heritage accreditation. These have been carefully determined to ensure that the standard of products under this heritage brand are always of the highest quality.
Manufacturers need to comply with product safety standards, there is no excuse otherwise. These keep customers safe, and they also help to guarantee that products are made correctly. If they do not comply with product safety standards, a brand can land themselves in a lot of trouble. No one wants to face the prospect of having to deal with a customer who has injured themselves with a faulty product you manufactured.
It is rare nowadays that companies stay within their home nation and only trade there. Thanks to the internet, it is easy for people located everywhere to order products and have them shipped to them. Though it is easy for the customer, it can be a little more difficult for the company offering the product.
A company that operates in more than one country needs to make sure that they are compliant with the laws of all those nations. For example, a business might have to pay tax in all of the countries where they operate, with each of these taxes due at different times of the year and all at different rates. Another key area that businesses need to watch for is importing and exporting. Many countries have strict border controls in place in regards to importing and exporting goods. Any business that moves their stock through these borders need to make sure that they are complying with these rules – and that the correct customs and excise fees are being paid.
Make Sure Your Business is Compliant
These are just some of the areas of the law where a business needs to make sure that they remain as compliant as possible. There is no avoiding this area of company management. Laws can and do change, and not complying with these changes can have a devastating effect on the company overall.
A good business owner will always try to make sure that they are following along with announcements about potential changes to the law. No matter what, a company needs to make sure that they are always compliant with the law, and willing to make changes when they arise. Compliance can be a vast area with many different nuances to it, but they are variations and nuances that must be obeyed. If you are a business owner, make sure that your company is fully compliant across all areas now.