Navigating legal & regulatory standards for compliance in different industries

Written by Amanda E. Clark | 26th April 2023
A blonde man holding his hand below his chin with a clipboard containing three checkboxes as a background. He's figuring out standards for compliance
No matter which industry you’re in, you’re bound by certain ordinances, rules, and laws. Most of the time, these laws serve a pretty clear purpose; for example, laws may exist to protect customers from unsafe products, to safeguard investors against fraud, to conserve natural resources, or even to keep your business safe from an overly litigious competitor.

Even the most common-sense rules and regulations can become onerous, however, if your company does not have protocols in place to maintain compliance. The question is, what’s the best way to maintain awareness of the regulatory environment in your industry? And what steps can you take to ensure that your team observes total compliance?

For the owners of LLCs, regulatory compliance is one of the top priorities, right up there with paying the LLC yearly fee. Here are some basic tips and strategies to help your business maneuver an ever-changing regulatory environment.

How to keep up with changing regulations & laws

1) Know what’s going on

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that regulations are never static. They tend to adapt and change as the industry itself changes, as political administrations come and go, and as consumer preferences shift.

In order to comply with relevant laws, you first need to know what those laws are. Some ways to keep up-to-date include:

  • Regularly check government websites, particularly those representing bureaus or agencies that have jurisdiction over your industry.
  • Attend professional conferences and seminars.
  • Subscribe to industry-specific blogs and newsletters.
  • Touch base with your business attorney on a regular basis (and ensure that your attorney is knowledgeable about your industry or niche, specifically).

2) Choose a point person for regulatory issues

Whose responsibility is it to maintain legal compliance? In some companies, this may be obvious, particularly if you have an in-house legal team. But in other businesses, especially smaller LLCs, it may be a bit less clear whose role involves regulatory compliance.

A good practice is to appoint a manager who is accountable for all things compliance, and/or to select a committee to meet together to handle compliance-related affairs. These are the people who you can task with maintaining awareness, consulting with outside counsel, conducting regular audits, and educating your team about any new or revised regulatory considerations.

3) Monitor your business practices

Your compliance officer or committee should maintain awareness not just of what the law says, but of what your company is doing to comply. This might mean:

  • Conducting regular audits to identify any areas of non-compliance, and to take corrective action.
  • Documenting measures taken to improve or safeguard compliance.
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date lists of regulatory requirements, which can be useful for educating or reminding personnel of their responsibilities.

4) Hold regular training sessions

When employees are unaware of regulatory concerns, they may run afoul of the law without even knowing it, potentially placing your entire company at higher risk of fines and other penalties. As such, it’s important to hold regular training sessions, briefing employees on what’s expected of them.
Some general tips:

  • When possible, have someone with some legal expertise on hand to answer any technical questions that arise.
  • Make sure you impress on employees why compliance matters, and what the consequences of non-compliance might be.
  • Use explainer videos or other visual tools to organize and present information.
  • Make sure you supply employees with all the resources they need to maintain compliance, and let them know where to turn with any questions or concerns.
  • Don’t make these training sessions a one-time thing. Refresh people’s memories, and provide any needed updates, at least once or twice a year.
  • Also be sure that regulatory compliance is included as part of your employee onboarding process.

5) Seek outside advice as needed

Remember that the law can be complicated, more so in some industries than in others, and that any breach of the regulatory standard can result in significant penalties for your company. To avoid financial peril or reputational damage, err on the side of caution, checking in with experts as needed. Lawyers and compliance authorities can be great sources of information, but in some situations accountants are also helpful guides.

6) Remain vigilant

Once again, it’s critical to note that the regulatory environment is ever-changing. As such, compliance isn’t something you think about just once. It’s something you keep on your radar year-round, regularly following up with audits, employee training, and continuing education.
A lock and a note board standing for secure standards in compliance

No matter your field, legal compliance is crucial

Laws and regulations can sometimes seem nitpicky or gratuitous, but ultimately, the regulatory environment ensures a level playing field and adequate protections for customers and companies alike. Make legal compliance an ongoing concern at your business, using these tips to remain in the know about your industry’s ever-evolving regulatory environment.

Author's Bio

Amanda E. Clark is a contributing writer to LLC University. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She became a professional writer in 2008 and has led marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies. She has appeared as a subject matter expert on panels about content and social media marketing. She regularly leads seminars and training sessions on trends and tactics in professional writing.

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