This is the first post in a series of articles discussing the importance of compliance for Tacoma or Olympia, Washington businesses. Compliance is a general term that can have a variety of meanings. In the legal context, compliance means abiding by laws, rules and regulations applicable to a company’s industry, corporate status or jurisdiction. A goal of this series is to provide a general overview of the types of compliance activities in which businesses should engage. Another goal is to emphasize the important role of compliance counsel in your company’s compliance program. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with an attorney.
We will discuss the following subjects in this series:
- Understanding how compliance impacts businesses
- Compliance with internal policies and procedures
- The importance of compliance audits
- The important role of compliance attorneys
These issues are important to businesses of all sizes. First, it is essential to understand which laws and regulations apply to your company or project. Failing to abide by permitting rules, required financial disclosures, business registrations, etc. may create significant liabilities to your company. In some cases, noncompliance can also lead to personal liability for owners or company officers. Second, companies can create internal policies and procedures to help ensure that employees behave in compliance with laws or regulations. Developing a process to communicate with and train employees about important policies is often a required step in a compliance program. Even when it is not required, such policies can be very helpful in defending against a regulator claiming non-compliance. Third, updating and reviewing internal policies to ensure that they reflect any changes to the applicable laws can help prevent unexpected violations. Finally, consulting with an experienced attorney to identify compliance requirements and provide an independent review of the company’s activities reduce corporate risk.
Compliance is not a one-size-fits-all exercise for businesses. Given the complexities and variances in legal requirements, it is important to engage a corporate attorney to identify your company’s compliance risks. If you need assistance, contact our office to speak with an Olympia lawyer. The firm also services the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, and Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.