Being a business owner involves juggling many tasks, one of the more important being making sure you're in compliance with all of the local and federal regulations that apply to your enterprise. Setting up a compliance calendar can help you manage this aspect of your business by ensuring you don't miss any important deadlines. A compliance calendar keeps track of all of your company's required filings, their due dates, and related details so you can avoid incurring any fines or other penalties for late filings or missing information.
What to Include in a Compliance Calendar
What you include in your calendar depends heavily on your particular business and the kind of compliance dates it faces. Filing deadlines and timing vary by state and industry—some are ongoing, monthly, or quarterly, such as tax payments.
Moreover, some business filing obligations, including many types of license and permit renewals, occur annually. A yearly compliance calendar can help you keep track of these types of annual filing deadlines.
Other important dates you might include in your compliance calendar include filings for corporate meeting minutes and schedules, annual report filing deadlines, and any special events related to compliance activities.
Reasons to Use a Compliance Calendar
One advantage of using a compliance calendar in a small business such as a sole proprietorship is that it would be one less job that you, the owner of the company, would have to stay on top of. The calendar can help keep you updated on all the paperwork you need to file and when.
If you run a limited liability company (LLC), a compliance calendar could mean the difference between staying in or going out of business. For example, problems can arise if you miss a detail that puts you in trouble with the state agency that regulates businesses. If you have several owners and/or employees, a compliance calendar is also a handy way to keep everyone on the same page regarding meeting filing deadlines.
Another benefit of having all of the dates and information in one place is that the calendar would be ready to produce to regulatory agencies should the need arise.
Putting a Compliance Calendar in Place
If you want to stay on top of important deadlines and keep your business running smoothly, you may consider handing over some of these responsibilities to an online services company to make sure nothing falls through the proverbial cracks.
Not only can an outside provider determine what you need to do and how to do it, but most providers offer systems with automatic reminders to remove all the guesswork about regulatory deadlines. Best of all, with your compliance obligations under control, you can spend your time where it really matters—developing and growing your business—instead of worrying about missing a deadline.
There's no one compliance calendar that suits every business's needs, which is why it's important to work with a service that can develop yours individually and create a personalized plan of attack. And since you may have deadlines just around the corner, there's no time like the present to start getting your compliance calendar in order.