Most businesses have some level of regulatory compliance, and how much you have may depend on where you’re located and what kind of services you provide. We all know that there are many government rules and regulations, and it’s not always easy to figure out what your obligations are and what they mean. So let’s talk about the four areas where regulations come from.
The first area is your local government. Your city or county where you do business. These regulations could be permitting requirements, zoning and use restrictions, business taxes, and sometimes certain licensing for some professions is done at the local level.
The second area is the state government. The state of Florida regulates certain industries and professions, and they regulate certain business activities. So you could have interactions with state agencies that regulate certain areas, for example, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Revenue, and so forth.
The third level is the federal government. The United States government has the ability to regulate interstate commerce, which means they end up regulating certain industries and sometimes certain business activities.
The fourth area could depend on your profession. So some professions have industry associations that create their own rules for that profession. So for example, the Florida Bar regulates attorneys. We have our own set of rules and regulations. The Florida Board of Professional Engineers regulates engineers in the state of Florida with their own rules and regulations, and so forth. But even if your profession doesn’t have a license that is required or a professional association, you might belong to certain industry groups that require its members to follow certain rules.
So if you add all of those together, it ends up to be a lot that small businesses need to know and understand, and they frequently complain that there’s not a lot of resources and help for them to learn what they need to learn to follow the rules. Most of the time, if the information is freely available and it’s out there, it’s just a matter of locating the answer to your specific question and then understanding what the rules mean. If you need help locating and translating the rules as it relates to you and your business, give us a call at 904-860-3111, or take a look around our website