Tag Archive | "rules and regulations"

O’Loughlin to Tackle ‘Rules and Regulations’ at Compliance Summit

LAS VEGAS —Terry O’Loughlin, director of compliance for Reynolds and Reynolds and a former regulator, will serve as a featured speaker at the upcoming Compliance Summit Las Vegas, organizers announced Tuesday. The conference will be held Aug. 29–30, 2016, at Paris Las Vegas, as part of Industry Summit.

“Compliance is one of the more unrelenting — and daunting — responsibilities that dealers face. Implementing the right policies and tools in compliance, along with applying best practices, all are proven strategies to help dealers meet those responsibilities, especially considering the likelihood for ever-increasing regulation and scrutiny,” said O’Loughlin, who served in the Florida attorney general’s office before joining the Reynolds Document Services group in 2006 as director of compliance. “Compliance Summit promises to focus on compliance as a critical business management issue for dealers, and I’m pleased to join a number of my professional colleagues in presenting at the conference and being part of the event.”

O’Loughlin’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion; the event will also include featured speakers and panels dedicated to Your Responsibilities and Easy-to-Implement Processes and Controls and, to conclude the educational sessions, an open forum called “Is It Compliant?”

“This is not Terry’s first rodeo, so to speak, and past attendees of Compliance Summit have singled him out as an informed and passionate speaker,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom. “When a former regulator and current industry advocate speaks, we are wise to listen.”

Registration for Compliance Summit Las Vegas is open at the event’s website. Attendees are welcome to take part in the rest of Industry Summit, and those who register by July 29 will enjoy a $100 discount. Attendees are also invited to sit for the Certified Automotive Compliance Specialist exam for no additional charge.

For more information about Compliance Summit, including sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email  or at 727-947-4027.

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Protecting Your Small Business: How to Keep from Getting Sued

When you own a business, especially a successful one, lawsuits are sometimes inevitable. Small businesses are a popular target because people assume most will settle rather than go through the hassle and costs of defending a suit.

“If you haven’t been sued at some point then you probably haven’t made that much money,” says Charley Moore, founder and chairman of RocketLawyer, an Internet-based legal service. “It’s pretty unavoidable in a successful business’ life span.”

Although there’s no guarantee your business won’t ever be sued, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk, according to Fox Business.com.

According to Josh King, general counsel at Avvo, www.avvo.com, a legal and health website, an obvious mistake small businesses make is not having the right corporate structure. While many small businesses will structure their company as a sole proprietorship, King says being an LLC or S-Corp will minimize the chances of any lawsuits impacting the individual.

“You don’t want the liability to pass through to you personally,” says King. “You always want to find the best structure.”

A surefire way to prevent a lawsuit from happening is to be compliant with the law. That means knowing what to file, when to file and keeping accurate records, says Moore. For instance, if you have employees working on site, make sure you are following labor laws and posting notices throughout the workplace where required. If you’re business provides products and services to the government, ensure all their rules and regulations are followed.

Hand-in-hand with being compliant is using best practices, says Barbara Weltman, Publisher of Big Ideas for Small Business. Employing best practices — whether it’s dealing with partners, employees or customers — will shield you from any misunderstandings that could result in a lawsuit down the road.

“If you are dealing with other parties make sure everything is in writing,” says Weltman. “You have to have best practices in everything you do.”

For many small businesses, one area that can be trouble is dealing with employees. Not having a culture of fairness and not setting clear rules can cause problems if employees feel they aren’t being treated well or compensated properly for their work.

“A huge way to avoid lawsuits it get employment agreements in writing,” says Moore. What’s more, he says to clearly lay out the rights of employees and make sure to get an arbitration clause into the employment contract. Having that will keep you out of court if there is a conflict with an employee.

Instituting an employee handbook and training managers in sexual harassment and discrimination are all things that can prevent a lawsuit.

Small businesses will often strike deals with other businesses or work with consultants on specific projects. Whatever deal you strike or whatever contract you ink, make sure it’s in writing.

“Recording everything in writing is one of the best ways to avoid litigation,” says Moore. Having the rights and responsibilities of each party in writing will also put you in a stronger position if you are sued.

Customer lawsuits are also a common threat facing small business owners. The chance of that can also be reduced by being clear about return policies and service guarantees, says Weltman. The worst thing a small business owner can do is ignore a customer complaint or problem. “Follow up as soon as anything happens to address the issue before it rises to the level of a lawsuit,” she says.

If you do nothing else, taking out the proper type and level of insurance will protect your business if it does end up getting sued. “Having the right kind of insurance is wonderful because when you are sued the insurance company will defend you,” says Weltman. “It makes it easier and you won’t have to give into these lawsuits.”

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