People may argue this statement, but think about this; After the initial idea for a business you can't even begin to think about planning without knowing if you need licenses, what type of company you will form, or where you can put it without making sure it is compliant with all of the rules and regulations.
Compliance is often forgotten, passed off to an attorney who does the research or has someone in their office do it.
As your company grows so does the need for expanded compliance, that means hiring. but who do you hire? a team of attorneys? That can be pretty pricey. What is needed are people who can research and provided resolutions and process complex thoughts into viable outcomes.
Compliance as defined, is simple, it's making sure you follow the rules. What isn't simple is the interpretation and creation of the rules. Compliance can be broken down into two areas.
Regulatory compliance, which is making sure that any business or action conducted by a company is within legal parameters and/or that all "reasonable" actions have been taken in order to prevent incidents. The first step in risk mitigation. this includes signage disclosures, processes like Know your Customer and Customer Identification Procedures
The second section is Internal Compliance, this often goes by a multitude of different names but they all concentrate on internal policies and standards and ensuring that a company operates according to it's own created culture. A good rule of thumb is to set internal standards higher than the regulatory standards "CYA" for example if a law states visitors must wear hardhats in a certain area, then set your company standards so that access to that area is off limits to visitors.
The other reason compliance is the most important is litigation, whether it be ensuring that it does not occur by following regulatory compliance, or by providing evidence that all necessary and reasonable actions were taken in order to prevent an incident, this relates to everything from lawsuits to criminal investigations.
a quick example of both would be if a company were being investigated for laundering money can it be proven that all reasonable checks and balances were in place, that all laws were followed, and that all internal policies were followed?
If someone were to injure themselves at a company, are there proper policies and actions in place to prevent such an accident, to respond to the accident to provide for after care, and were all applicable laws followed regarding warnings or expectations?
If compliance is handled properly then a good portion and a base for risk mitigation is in place.
Insurance premiums can be lower, as a rule the need for insurance is because of a lack of internal compliance.
With many new regulations that have come about in the past 5-10 years compliance is now the most important part of a business and is beginning to be too much for a single lawyer to handle, even if they are a full time employee.
Items that fall under compliance:
Accessibility, blind, deaf, etc.
Instructions in multiple languages
Wording in marketing
And MUCH MUCH MORE!!
To learn more about compliance and or risk mitigation send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org