None of us were nearly prepared for this Covid-19 in the entire world as we see global economies plummeting and leaders urging people to work from home. For staying productive while working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak is a law, businesses have to follow other compliance as well. Since the financial year in India ends on 31st March, knowing the revised dates to furnish necessary compliance tasks is a must. Most of the businesses are keeping a close eye on the happenings around the world and how big enterprises are responding to this pandemic. To keep your business compliant during the pandemic will require you to stay aware, your team to stay vigilant, and your management team to plan things.
Keep an eye on relevant news
It is normal to check the latest news and updates on COVID-19 and stress on the current scenario. You will have your WhatsApp and Instagram flooded with such news and how this infection is wreaking havoc in the world. But, you need to identify what is important news for you and your businesses. You should be checking out the updates from the government and that too from a relevant source. Most of the WhatsApp forwards are from unverified sources and you shouldn’t be treating them true. Instead, identify the right platforms from where you can stay informed. Our Instagram handle – LegalWiz.in is one such source where we keep you posted with the latest statutory updates. The need of an hour is to have relevant news and keep a safe distance from people and also from fake news.
Know your existing compliance status
Before you begin your journey toward becoming compliant, it is crucial to know your current compliance status. It will help you to know your business better and give a sense of direction towards being compliant. For instance, if you are running a food business, you will need to have an FSSAI license. Do you have that? Even if you do, know its status to determine whether or not you need to renew it. The same goes for the trademark. Now is the time to know your renewal dates, upgrades and other compliance filings since you have the time to do so. In case, you have done your trademark registration in India, you can renew the trademark 1 year before the expiry of 10 years. Or whether your DIN requires a renewal, etc. Therefore, knowing your compliance status in trying times is the best way to stay prepared for the future once the businesses start functioning at full pace.
Hire business service professionals
Not every business can afford to house an in-house team for all its relevant departments. For instance, the marketing team, IT team, etc. is something that your business will need on a day-to-day basis so you will have them to support your business. But the legal team will have a bunch of Company Secretaries, Chartered Accountants, and Lawyers. And you will not need them every day but, in times like these, you will need their expertise to come to your aid. You can outsource your business compliance tasks to them and stay assured of keeping your business compliance even in such tough times. For instance, a legal business working online can help you get started with this. You can make the payment and online and start rendering their services as they ensure their teamwork from home during this pandemic to sort your compliance matters.
Contingency plan for governing documents
As a business, you have to ensure the security of statutory and governing documents like operating agreement, shareholder agreement, partnership agreement, or shareholder agreement. You need to plan the necessary steps in case of the absence of these documents. For example, it could be naming a replacement in case a key manager, employee, and officer for someone unable to work. It is also a great time to connect with the founding team and core team members and appoint a new registered agent if the company had appointed an individual instead of a professional registered agent. That individual will not be able to accomplish her/his duties as a registered agent. As business owners, you are liable to act first in times of crisis and should set up strict instructions regarding the payment to employees in case of a temporary shutdown. Though, the government of India has mandated all companies to enable work from home without a pay cut by filing up “CAR” form to confirm readiness towards COVID-19.
Whatever decision you take to stay compliant, make sure you communicate your compliance plan to the current team to maintain transparency. It will also boost their morale by knowing that the company considers them important and ensure them to stay updated. With everything said, the need of an hour is to reduce anxiety arising out of the novelty of Coronavirus, uncertain economic conditions, and the looming possibility of mass job losses and business wipe-outs. For now, the best use of time is to stay informed in the right sense and get your team to talk to clients and inform them about your compliance measures and how your businesses are successfully coping with the pandemic.