18 Jun What is Compliance? And Other Common Reseller Questions
If you’re just starting to research reselling telecommunications services, you’ve probably discovered that compliance is crucial to operating legally in the industry. But perhaps you’ve got a few initial questions you can’t find answers to. In this post, we’ll tackle just a few of the common questions resellers have when they’re getting started.
What is compliance?
The industry is regulated. After all, communication is considered a necessary service, like water and electricity, and is therefore governed by state and federal laws to protect consumers from number slamming, price gouging, and a host of other fraudulent practices. At the base level, telecom compliance is making sure you adhere to these regulations by filing the correct paperwork, paying the necessary taxes, and the best practices of telecom. Failure to meet these regulations could leave you with large fines and long delays in business transactions.
How does the government enforce compliance?
The Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency overseen by Congress, is in charge of implementing and enforcing regulations at a national level.
At the state level, there are public service commissions (PSCs) or public utilities commissions (PUCs) to govern and regulate the rates and services of a public utility – electricity, water, telecommunications, etc. Their job is to make sure you’re meeting the minimum requirements for service and charging the proper rates for that service.
How do I become compliant?
It’s a relatively simple process. We’ve outlined the basics in the post “Getting Started with Telecommunications Compliance.”
I operate in a state where VoIP isn’t regulated. Why do I have to worry about compliance?
Being in a “non-regulated” state when it comes to VoIP doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities. In fact, you may still need to file reports and returns to the regulatory board for certain elements of your business without having to be registered. And there are the normal registration requirements:
- The Secretary of State. If you’re doing business with the boundaries of a certain state, that state’s secretary of state wants to know who you are and can contact you in an official capacity.
- The Department of Revenue. In almost all cases, there is some form of tax or fee that will be charged on the transactions you provide (E911 registration, sales tax, etc). Registered with your state’s department of revenue will enable you to pay those taxes and fees to the proper entities.
I’m a small operation and would appreciate a helping hand when it comes to compliance. Is there anyone I can contact?
Brightlink recommends Global Strategic Accountants, LLC, a consulting firm that provides tax and regulatory consulting and outsourcing strictly to the telecommunications industry for all of North America. They’ll be able to fill in any gaps you may have in your journey to compliance.
Got any more questions for us in regards to reselling telecom services? Submit them here and we’ll answer them in one of our White-Label Wednesday episodes.