Tips for keeping your business compliant

business board room
(© Jacob Lund –

Every business has to meet certain compliance standards. In addition to federal laws, there are state, local and industry specific laws and regulations that businesses must adhere to. This can feel somewhat overwhelming if you are a small business and you are already juggling the many other challenges of your position, but there are tips that can make remaining compliant less onerous.

Work with professionals

One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t fall out of regulations is to have professionals who help you stay compliant. This doesn’t mean that you need to create entire legal, accounting and human resources departments and staff them. You can have an attorney whom you regularly consult for the relevant issues. The same is true for an accountant, and your bookkeeper can be either part-time or a contractor. You can even outsource human resources tasks. Of course, if you are a larger business or you start to grow, you may want to make some of these in-house tasks, but until you reach that point, don’t let your small size keep you from turning to the people who are qualified to help you.

Have the right tools

Tools can also go a long way toward helping you remain compliant. For example, there are various types of software that can take care of accounting, human resources and customer service tasks. These also are usually updated when there is a change in law or regulations, and they can notify you about these changes. Look for industry specific assistance as well. For example, if you are looking for better ways to manage a fleet, including complying with ELD mandates, an ELD compliance solution can help prevent hours of service violations.

Know the regulations

Hiring professionals and automation solutions for as many processes as you can are good strategies, but you should also be familiar with the regulations yourself. If you’re falling short of requirements, you and your business are the ones that will be held responsible. And while the professionals that you hire are will probably be trustworthy and competent, this knowledge can help protect you from those who might be unscrupulous or simply bad at their jobs. Even if you do not know precisely why the advice you are receiving from a professional is wrong, if you educate yourself about rules and regulations, you’re more likely to sense when something may be off about an approach and do some further investigation.

Have a system

Having processes in place can help you stay on top of compliance issues. For example, if there are certain licenses that need to be renewed periodically, put this renewal date on the calendar. If there are certain conditions that must be met for the renewal, such as some kind of continuing education class, make a note of this well. Then, figure out the best way to notify you and any relevant employees that this is coming up soon. This could be as simply as setting up calendar alerts, or if your company uses some kind of project management software, there might be a way to incorporate this into your workflow.

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