The line between business and finance is blurring. More and more, the regulatory writing that we read about in financial publications is directly tied to the world of commerce. When the rules change, the players invariably change with them. It’s an exciting time to be a lawyer or a business school professor. Or maybe even just a business person.
Knowledge of how the law affects business is critical if you’re going to do business in this country. Although most businesses create their own internal controls and procedures, they still need to know what legal requirements they must comply with. Without a clear understanding of the legal landscape, you’ll find yourself struggling with a costly misunderstanding or facing litigation.
Regulatory writing is everywhere. Without even realizing it, you’re likely to see legal documents tied to commerce or finance issues at any one of the numerous government agencies that oversee securities, financial services, healthcare, or any other area of business. The only way to stay on top of everything is through continuous education and learning.
What is regulatory writing?
Put yourself in the shoes of a business person for a moment. You’ve decided to expand your operations into a new country. You’re negotiating the best deal you can with the local government. You want to be able to run your business, make money, and satisfy your customers. All of a sudden, you’re faced with a whole new legal environment you’ve never experienced before. One that is likely to differ greatly from the one you’re used to in your home country.
If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. Welcome to Regulatory Writing 101!
What is regulatory writing?
From the Fed’s perspective, it’s the portion of the law that governs our relationship with banks and banking institutions. From the perspective of the CFTC, it’s the set of rules that regulate the buying and selling of commodities, such as stocks, bonds, and derivatives.
From the perspective of FINRA, it’s the legal documents that govern the business of securities brokers and dealers. In the eyes of the IRS, it’s the tax rules that determine whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee. When you’re in the middle of a healthcare billing dispute with a customer, you’re looking at HIPAA, the law that regulates medical records.
To be clear, regulatory writing isn’t just limited to the laws that govern your line of business. It also includes the administrative documents, such as those discussed above, that help you navigate and comply with the legal requirements of your industry. Without an understanding of these legal rules, you’re often at a disadvantage when it comes to doing business in this country. You may find that you’re held to different standards or requirements than your competitors who are based in other countries or regions.
Why Should You Learn Regulatory Writing?
In addition to helping you comply with the rules and standards that exist in your country, the federal government also has standards and rules that you should learn about and become familiar with.
If you’re doing business with banks, credit card companies, or other financial institutions, then you should know the federal rules that govern their industry. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do when a dispute arises. Even if you’re not directly involved in a dispute, you may still find that you’re affected by the rules and regulations that apply to the industries in which you’re engaged.
What are the most important rules, regulations, and standards you should know about?
- Bankruptcy Rules
- The Federal Advisory Committee Act
- The Federal Conflict of Interest Rules
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
If you’re looking for specific areas to focus on, you should take a look at the NACM Regulatory Guide for Banking. This free resource, published by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, provides an overview of the major legal areas impacting business.
The Three Phases Of Legal Research
As a business person, you’ll inevitably come across legal information during your research. You may want to review the legal requirements and obligations of your industry or line of business, but you probably don’t have the time to keep researching every little detail of the law. That’s where legal research firms and law firms come in. They specialize in giving business people the help they need by taking on the burden of legal research for them.
What are the different types of legal research firms?
There are three main types of legal research firms. The first type is a general research firm, which provides support in any area of law. They may take on a specific project for a business, such as a merger or acquisition, and conduct research and report back to the client on how to proceed. They usually have a national reputation and a track record of getting results.
The next type is a full-service research firm. A full-service research firm takes on a broader scope of work, including conducting primary research, analyzing data, and presenting the results in a comprehensive report. They usually have a team of experienced legal researchers who are familiar with the nuances of every area of law. Because they have the time and resources to do it right, the end product is usually very comprehensive and accurate.
The third type is a boutique firm, which specializes in a niche area of law. A boutique firm provides deep expertise in a specific area of law and handles a limited number of cases. Because they only take on the cases that pay the best, they can afford to be very selective about the cases they take on and offer more individualized service. This personalized service makes them extremely attractive to clients who need help with a specific issue.
Where Can I Find Regulatory Writing?
The best place to find regulatory writing, in my opinion, is at the fingertips of experienced lawyers who specialize in business law. You should not have to go looking for a book or piece of material on the subject. Instead, you should be able to locate the answers to all your questions at the touch of a button. Even better, you should not have to pay a large bill for a single attorney.
Doing business in America is not as simple as it seems. There are a lot more regulations and standards you need to be aware of than you would think. Without a good understanding of the law and how it affects your business, you may find yourself in a situation you’re not prepared for. The more you know, the better!