Tuesday, January 21, 2020

5 Ways Your Small Business can Stay Compliant

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Starting a small business is easier said than done. With tasks aplenty, founders may give compliance a miss which can cause a worry or two. You would not want to break the law just when you get started. The best way is to get yourself acquainted with regulatory compliance to keep such troubles at bay.

But how would you do that?

For starters, to stay compliant means obeying all the business laws while being fully aware of your business activities. Know whether or not you are breaking any law(s) when performing daily tasks like signing a contract or filing tax returns. Here are five quick tips to ensure your business stays compliant. 

#1. Ensure Business Registration and Licenses

For those of you wondering how to register your business entity, know that there are many possible business structures you can choose from. There are options right from private limited company registration to form an LLP and even opting for a sole proprietorship. Check out the differences between various business structures as each has separate requirements.

Again, each state in India has different charges for the registration that forms a part of the government fees (stamp duty charges). 

Also, some business requires licenses. Check whether your business needs a license to operate like FSSAI registration for starting a food business Fire Department License for businesses dealing in Flammable Material. 
  
#2. Be Aware of the Constantly Changing Laws

I know you would like your business to function with sheer dynamism, continually bringing innovation to businesses process. This is applicable to staying compliant, too. You must be able to keep yourself updated with the continually changing laws in your area. It may be about the minimum wage to factory workers or GST return payment. Not abiding by the constantly changing rules may lead your business in trouble which includes running into legal problems – heavy penalties, fines, etc…

Therefore, start keeping yourself updated with the latest laws. Keep a tab on a few of the best resources for startups available online and look for any recent law advancements. Alternatively, watching news channels or downloading such an app will keep you updated regarding the business laws.

#3. Create a compliance checklist

First, try to get hold of all the compliance requirements that your business needs to fulfill.  List them out one after the other – every law that applies to your business. For example, knowing the GST return filing requirements and its consequent due date. Keeping such notices readily available should help you determine actions that you need to take you to ensure business compliance. Like GST return filing, there is annual compliance for private limited company and LLP. Have someone in place, typically a company secretary to look after these aspects of running a business.

One of the best things you could do is to have a compliance calendar 2020 for this year and put efforts to complete required formalities within the due date.

#4. Consider getting your IPR 

Small business needs to have their intellectual property rights covered just when they are starting up. It primarily involves registering your company name & logo to trademark it later. Know that the trademark registration includes protecting any crucial word, logo, phrase or even a graphic symbol that you believe represents your brand. It should be something that distinguishes your business from the rest of the competitors.

Remember, that when you look to trademark a word, make sure it is for the purpose to identify your business and not a generic one. For example, ‘just do it’ by Nike is a trademark phrase. And the word ‘Nike’ is inspired by the Greek goddess of victory, speed, and strength which also defines what the brand Nike stands for. And once you register your trademark, you will have all the right over it which prevents others from copying it.

#5. Hire Business Service Professionals

Perhaps, the smart thing would be to hire business professional services for your small business. Instead of reinventing the wheel and taking responsibility for law while it is not your forte may cause you some trouble. Onboarding the legal and compliance team in-house may increase your hiring costs. And even if you do so, the culture in your business may not often suit the legal practitioners. 

Instead, startups like LegalWiz.in can come into play by offering tailored legal solutions that help your business stay compliant.  

The key is to maximize your efficiency while outsourcing compliance job work to skilled professionals. You can hire business professionals on a contractual basis or choose their offerings from the package. Make sure you make the right choice as running a background check, clients served, and the team’s experience is crucial to your business compliance.

Concluding Thoughts

Give enough attention to the legalities involved in starting, incorporating, registering, managing and operating your small business. It is best to channelize your efforts to make your business compliant and avoid anything that jeopardizes the smooth functioning of your business. 

It is prudent not to let small mistakes turn to significant losses unnecessarily. Most small businesses fail because they do not give much importance to the legal requirements and procedures which are fundamentally aimed at protecting your business.

Author Bio:

Shrijay is an entrepreneur with more than ten years of experience in working with hyper-growing digital commerce companies across the globe. He is a data-savvy leader and a true believer of people-first philosophy. Currently, he is a founder at a LegalTech venture in India - LegalWiz.in 

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