Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, compliance training courses are a must. The same goes for startup businesses because the last thing you need is a costly issue with government agencies. There are three types of rules and regulations a business must follow, which are:
- Industry-specific regulations governing licensing and business activities in various industries
- General rules applying to all businesses, including those necessary to maintain corporate status (like cybersecurity learning)
- Local and state rules applying to your business in a specific city or state
Because most entrepreneurs build businesses in industries they haven’t worked in before, industry-specific regulations might be the simplest for startups to remember. With that said, there are numerous rules and regulations you must focus on as well to stay compliant. Here are the basic areas of compliance to help you get out of trouble, as a growing business.
- How to Begin Compliance Training
When you’re starting compliance training with your employees, there are certain tips to follow:
- Write the policies and procedures with an expectation of scaling. Explain the logic behind your current approach and a timeline for reevaluation.
- Walk the talk! As a leader, you must be compliant and show employees that they must do the same. Follow the policies and procedures, and others will follow suit.
- Share overlapping accountability instead of silo responsibility. Share obligations across multiple job positions when you are still small. Doing so shows that compliance is everyone’s duty and not just one role.
- Begin with policies and procedures describing what the business already does, then write visionary policies to frame them. That way, you avoid writer’s block or feel confused over where to begin when creating an effective training program.
- Keep the Business Itself Compliant
There are quick tips for a business owner to stay compliant to keep out of trouble with the government, such as:
- Keep the corporate status andpay your taxes
- Keep proper corporate records, documenting important meetings and transactions
- Do NOT commingle personal and business assets
- Operate your business at arm’s length and identify the business by its corporate name
- Avoid the Tick the Box Culture
The culture you create around compliance matters. Tone will come from the top, and unfortunately, leaders may conflate rule-breaking and boundary-breaking, resulting in risky shortcuts.
There is also a “tick the box” culture around compliance, looking like this: New hires join the organization and are handed a 200-page handbook filled with rules and policies. They are only asked to sign the book to acknowledge they have received and read the book, pledging to abide by the rules. But who actually read the book?
As a startup, it might be easy to skip the rules and policies and focus more on working towards your business’s success. However, this shouldn’t be the case, because compliance is just as important as everything else in the business.
Wrapping It Up
Starting early matters for compliance, as it builds the right habits from the ground up and creates credibility early on.