If you go through the effort of forming, building, and growing a company, you want to be sure to do everything you can to protect your business. One thing you simply can’t afford to ignore as a business owner is compliance. Let’s talk a bit more about what corporate compliance means, involves, and looks like.
Broadly speaking, corporate compliance describes how closely your company adheres to the law and any other policies it should be following. You can break it down into two basic categories:
And don’t worry, that headline’s not a tease. We’re seriously going to show you how to not give a single solitary F-bomb about compliance.
Internal compliance matters because it allows you to control your “in-house” liabilities, such as setting up the proper type of company, asset protection, contractor and property manager issues, and much more about your day-to-day.
External compliance, on the other hand, is more focused on the legal pieces of your company needs. This is just one of several reasons why attorneys offer services to assist. Attorneys can help you satisfy the most critical pieces of external compliance, which in our opinion are:
Of course, pros are happy to give you tips too, but generally good ones don’t do it for free. Paid consultations give you a competent real estate support team. This is especially important for ...
Both concepts of compliance are vital and can be offerings of full-service corporate compliance firms or agencies. Let’s dive into why you might think about using one, and your alternatives if you’d rather not pay.
The consequences of noncompliance aren’t pretty. What consequences will depend on the severity and type of noncompliance, but none are pleasant. If your LLC is noncompliant because you got a LegalZoom or similar company’s weak cookie cutter LLC, it may be totally useless as a business entity and thus offering you no real lawsuit protection. With so much on the line, why play around?
While all of these rules and regulations may seem like a drag, fortunately, you don’t have to wade through all the legalese and paperwork on your own. Professionals can help you be certain of your company’s compliance, with many offering specific corporate compliance services. Let’s talk about what these services look like in real life.
Generally, here are the kinds of services you can purchase from full-service firms. The value of a full-service firm is greater for real estate investors who have more expensive time. “Expensive” by the way can be measured in numbers for most of us. Look at what you average as an hourly rate and decide if putting even one or two hours of time towards compliance is “worth it.” If you can’t get the job done for under $100-300, you absolutely want to think about full-service. Even if your hourly rate is $20, that gives you five hours a year to devote to compliance. The idea that compliance services are for “rich investors only” or those who are well on the way to success is BS, to be blunt. Here’s the quickest, but not only, reason why.
You can pay a full-service legal firm (not an online LLC-in-a-box shop because lawyers are more effective than LegalZoom or template companies, always) very little money to have them address that list of obligations above. Moreover, investors who purchase a compliance package usually get these things:
Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.
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