Above board — 4 legal compliance tips for your business
Running a small business involves more time-consuming twists than a Salvador Dali clock.
And keeping staff happy, recouping funds for completed work and satisfying loyal customers while looking for new ones sometimes keeps you so busy that you may lose focus on regulatory requirements — which can have a massive negative impact.
Paying your employees according to their contractual agreements and ensuring tax is up to date are two complete no-brainers. But alas, the tangle of red tape associated with operating an enterprise doesn’t end there.
If you want to stay above board, here are four legal compliance tips for your business.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
In the lead up to May 2018, business headlines went into meltdown as firms large and small struggled to grab definitive guidance on how to prepare for the EU GDPR regulations.
These data protection rules for the digital age apply to British businesses regardless of Brexit and, in simple terms, place a greater responsibility on companies to protect the personal data of customers and employees.
For more information, read the ICO FAQs on GDPR for SMEs — you can then take steps to get compliant if you haven’t done already.
Data Protection Act 2018
The first major changes to the UK Data Protection Act in around 20 years brings the legislation up to date in order to meet the challenges of a modern era when an unprecedented amount of data is stored, transferred and exchanged each and every minute.
At the moment, much of this law overlaps with GDPR, but it attempts to clarify UK businesses’ responsibilities both now and when we leave the EU.
To get up to speed with these rules, read the Data Protection Act 2018 overview on gov.uk.
EU Copyright Directive
The finalised version of the EU Copyright Directive is likely to be made law across the EU some time in the first half of 2019.
It’s a controversial piece of legislation and one of its aims is preventing large social media companies from disseminating so much copyrighted material on their platforms for free.
However, it might also mean smaller companies have to review their policies on activities like creating memes or linking to external websites from blogs.
Read this Wired guide to the EU Copyright Directive to separate fact from fiction.
Whether you’re accused of fraud of believe that you’ve been defrauded, the results can be fatal for a small business without the wherewithal of larger competitors — and the potential reputational damage is huge.
Protection is two-fold — proactively auditing your business and seeking professional advice on steps to take to protect yourself against fraud and seeking legal help if there’s a threat of prosecution from authorities.
Getting advice from business lawyers like Switalskis Solicitors is the best way to cover both bases — there are some aspects of the law that should always be left to experts.
Follow these four legal compliance tips for your business and you’ll always be too legit to quit.