Entrepreneur 101: How to deal with regulatory compliance

When you are a new entrepreneur who is taking his first steps into the business world, it's easy to focus on the aspects of the work that are exciting and make you feel accomplished and less fun, the tasks administrative. Ensuring compliance with the regulations is one of those areas where you have to be a follower of the bureaucracy to be able to enjoy it – but that's one of the most fundamental problems that you face when you run your own business.

Familiarize yourself with your responsibilities

The world of compliance abounds with acronyms and seemingly complicated processes, but once you linger there, it's not as difficult to understand the basics.

First, you must identify what type of regulation applies in your case. For example, if you have an online store and are processing credit card data, you will want to be PCI-DSS certified. This set of security standards ensures that you have the appropriate security mechanisms to protect your customers' financial information, such as a WAF that filters malicious incoming traffic and protects online applications from application layer attacks such as zero threats. -day and SQL injection. ]

If your company is publicly traded, you need to take a closer look at the SOX and HIPAA requirements to determine what you need to do in terms of health insurance coverage for your employees.

Finally, if you collect, store and process personal data for your customers, you must understand the privacy rules, including the recent EU legislation on the GDPR.

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Make sure your employees are online

When your goal is to ensure compliance, talking to your employees and providing them with the tools they need is an essential step. Your staff could be your best allies – or your worst nightmare if they do not understand what they have to do correctly.

A recent survey of 400 companies in the United States and the United Kingdom found that 23% of employees do not know a fundamental aspect of their work. Training is therefore essential to maintain compliance. Ensuring that employees always have access to company policies describing compliance standards, having clear instructions, and understanding the risks associated with compliance procedures is a first step towards ensuring that you meet the requirements. regulations.

Regular updates and project management software with built-in compliance features can help your staff achieve these goals, while it's advisable to meet regularly with team leaders and check the process and potential problems.

Get the help you need

As your business grows, regulatory requirements may be too difficult to manage on your own. You can always turn to specialized professionals and hire a compliance officer to make sure everything is up to par – their average base salary in the US is $ 78,203 a year. You might also want to hire a consultant to conduct on-site assessments, such as fire and safety requirements.

Otherwise, you could outsource some of your compliance monitoring to a compliance agency for about $ 3,000 per month and be able to tailor it to your needs. Professional associations sometimes help their members with routine requirements by hiring dedicated professionals and staying in touch with regulators.

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Bureaucracy is never easy but whatever way you choose to go, compliance needs to be dealt with with the seriousness that it deserves. It is better to have a good foundation from the start than to invest money and time to mitigate the consequences of non-compliance.