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How Do I Make Sure My Business is Compliant?

ByDave Stopher

Jun 6, 2020

If you are running a business that is regulated, such as finance or medicine, you are going to need to make sure your business is compliant.

If you are fully compliant, it means that you are effectively meeting the requirements of the regulatory in your industry – and this is deemed fit and proper and in the best interests of the customer.

If you are not compliant, you risk providing a poor service to the customer and further to this, prosecution of your business, heavy fines and potential closure.

Do all businesses need compliance?

A business will need compliance if it is regulated or comes under a larger governing body.

In the UK, the types of products and services that are regulated including:

  • Loans and credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Insurance
  • Medicine, dentistry, optometry, physiotherapy
  • Property and real estate
  • Construction and builders
  • Pharmaceuticals

Things that are not regulated include:

  • Window cleaning
  • Tutoring
  • Digital marketing and web design
  • Hairdressing
  • Dog grooming
  • Shop keeping

What things might you do make your business compliant?

To be compliant, you will need to follow a list of rules and regulations highlighted by your regulator. This may include:

  • Showing customers, the potential risks e.g side effects, house may be repossessed, may affect your credit score
  • Ensure your website is clear and not misleading
  • Being clear and transparent about your pricing and the product you are offering
  • Being mindful with customer data
  • Having a list of set procedures and processes available
  • Healthy and safety measures are implemented
  • Training of employees to ensure compliance

Can I do compliance myself?

Yes, in some businesses, you may find that the business owner is in charge of everything relating to compliance or they have compliance managers in-house.

Compliance managers that work full-time usually have a legal background or have been trained to understand the rules and regulations of the industry, often with years of experience in their field.

Failing to keep up with compliance can be very risky for your customers and your business. So having compliance that is up to scratch is important and something that stakeholders must lend their full attention to.

The five key functions of a compliance department are:

  1. To identify the risks that an organisation faces and advise on them (identification)
  2. To design and implement controls to protect an organisation from those risks (prevention)
  3. To monitor and report on the effectiveness of those controls in the management of an organisations exposure to risks (monitoring and detection)
  4. To resolve compliance difficulties as they occur (resolution)
  5. To advise the business on rules and controls (advisory)

Can I hire a specialist?

Yes, in my industries, firms will hire compliance consultants or use an external company to help with their compliance.

There may be initial compliance requirements to set up a new company, such as a loans provider or insurance firm.

Thereafter, you may have ongoing compliance to monitor any internal processes, marketing activity, relationships and new business.