Operating a small business requires continuous diligence to stay on top of all the legal requirements. You cannot simply start up a business without being aware of the regulations that apply to your business from the start, and on an ongoing basis thereafter.
The U.S. Small Business Administration explains that there are compliance requirements you must meet, at the local, state and federal levels, throughout the life of your business.
At the very basic level, you need to ensure you keep on top of your paperwork. You should keep meticulous records of every dollar going in and out of your business. You want to maintain good records for employees and customers, too. It is essential to have organized and complete records to assist you with any other compliance required of your business.
If your business requires any licenses, certifications or permits, you will have to ensure you acquire and renew those as needed. Generally, you will know when you secure the license when renewal will happen, so calendar the renewal and give yourself reminders in advance. You must pay attention to all notices. If you let a mandatory license, certification or permit lapse, it could result in your business being shut down.
You will likely need to file specific paperwork with the state or federal governments. It is important to ensure you meet all filing deadlines. Some of the documents you may have to file include your annual report and proof you provide health insurance to employees. You also must file taxes at all levels. For certain types of businesses, you may need to hold meetings of shareholders or submit your operating agreement.
Staying on top of all the legal requirements for your business is just as important as maintaining product levels and paying your operating expenses. If you fail to stay compliant, you could face fines or even the forced closure of your business.