Categories: Law

3 Tips to Stay Up-To-Date with Required Regulations

Industry regulations are constantly changing, and just when you think you know what you need to do to be compliant, there’s another update to the proposal or an amendment to the legislation. 

Sometimes those changes are in your favor and make the laws more lenient, but sometimes they can tighten the reins. Either way, the governing bodies will hold you accountable for violations, even if you aren’t aware of the changes. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and that’s why you need to stay on top of the regulations in your industry.

Keeping up with applicable regulations is challenging

Staying on top of regulatory requirements is easier said than done when you’re on your own. Some of the regulations are highly complex and receive numerous updates before becoming finalized. For example, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been updated several times since it was first introduced in January 2003, and the final CSRD updates have just been announced. This legislation requires businesses in the European Union to report on how their activities impact sustainability in several ways.

With the final updates, the level of reporting detail required has increased, and it’s quite complex. For example, businesses need to report on their value chain in terms of environmental and social impact that extends beyond their own impact. That’s a big responsibility, and if this regulation applies to your business, you need to know all of the details to be compliant. The only other option is to hire an expert to get you on track.

What happens when you don’t comply with required regulations?

The penalties for non-compliance can include hefty fines and regulatory actions that can force you to suspend doing business until you become compliant. Depending on the regulation and industry, jail time might be on the table. In all cases, when violations make it into the public eye, the biggest risk is losing your reputation.

How to stay aware of ever-changing industry legislation

To keep up with the regulations that govern how you do business in your industry, along with reporting requirements and data security, there are several things you can do.

1. Hire an attorney

Nobody will know the law like an attorney who specializes in your industry’s regulations. Having legal counsel on retainer to consult regarding this issue will prove to be invaluable to your organization. There’s just too much data to gather and remember on your own, and researching the information isn’t a job you want to give to just anyone. It really takes the eye of an attorney to keep you aware of changes you might need to make when your industry’s regulations are updated or amended.

One of the easiest ways to do this, even if you don’t have an attorney on retainer, is to sign up for newsletters run by attorneys who work with your regulations. Many of them have email lists and regularly send information about updates. This is effortless and free.

2. Check governing agency websites

Anytime regulations change, the governing body will usually post updates to their website. Going directly to the source of the law is always helpful.

Find an official, reliable website that publishes updates often and bookmark that site. You should find basic information like deadlines for compliance, bulleted lists of new updates, and summaries of the more intricate details. 

If you don’t understand the full context of the law, hiring an expert will help. In fact, even when you monitor updates, there could be hundreds of them, and you won’t have time to read them all thoroughly enough to understand them fully. It’s always best to have a regulatory expert help you get and stay compliant.

3. Attend industry events online

Chances are, there are online events in your industry hosted by experts who will go over changes to applicable legislation along with offering solutions. This is pretty common, so it’s always a good idea to check in at least once in a while with some of these conferences or webinars. It’s also a great way to network, so it’s a win-win.

Remember to change your processes when needed

Last, but not least, when you find out about regulatory changes, be sure you thoroughly assess your current processes and systems to bring them into full compliance. You might need to update forms, add some steps to your procedures, or hire an extra person to take on the extra workload. Do whatever is required because the alternative puts you at risk for sanctions and fines.

Managing the changes in legislation that affect your business can be overwhelming, but hopefully now you have some insight into how you can make it a little easier.

Ethan

Ethan is the founder, owner, and CEO of EntrepreneursBreak, a leading online resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners. With over a decade of experience in business and entrepreneurship, Ethan is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

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