Compliance with the law, conformity to rules
This is how the term compliance, which originated in North America, can be understood.
In terms of content, this means the entrepreneur’s duty to ensure compliance with binding obligations within the company. These include legal standards (laws, directives and regulations from the EU, federal government, state and local authorities) as well as official approvals, requirements and permits. Binding obligations from insurance, rental, service contracts, etc. can play a role, and customer-specific specifications and requirements from standards (product and system standards) are also relevant.
All in all, a 6-digit number of requirements from the most diverse sources quickly accumulate, which the management must know and have implemented in its own organization with regard to its duties to act.
The following principle applies: Ignorance is no excuse!
In concrete terms, this means that the management is liable with its private assets and in its own person in the sense of organizational culpability if it does not systematically ensure compliance with the binding obligations.
Let’s take a look at German SMEs and the degree to which this very issue is implemented, namely the extent to which the management / board of directors systematically deals with the issue of compliance (or not): In our daily practice, we often experience that companies do not have a legal and approval register, for example. Inhouse legal counsel is also rarely assigned, and external law firms are only called in very sporadically to deal with compliance. At most, the call for legal assistance is made when unpleasant situations arise.
However, the recognition of negative behavior and the implementation of appropriate internal sanctions within the company is often decisive (in terms of liability).
Prevention is the guiding principle in compliance.
And this is where we support your company! Our inhouse team of lawyers accompanies you on your way to (legal) compliance.
We attach particular importance to adopting a pragmatic approach on the one hand, and to exercising the necessary care on the other, without drifting into legal advice in the legal sense. After all, legal advice can only be provided by a lawyer in private practice (m/f/d) or by an in-house lawyer (m/f/d) for the company for which he/she is appointed.