The term compliance has taken center stage in the business world. With the increase in regulations and legal obligations affecting companies, a recurring question arises: is compliance mandatory in companies?

The simple answer would be NO. However, it is essential to consider that the landscape is shifting in a direction in which the compliance will be essential.

Although the Spanish Penal Code does not explicitly mention the mandatory nature of compliance.

Programa de compliance. Compliance program


The law does refer to its essence in Article 31 bis, which refers to the liability of legal persons for certain offenses. This suggests that, although it is not mandatory, the implementation of a compliance program can exempts the company from criminal liability.

There are multiple regulations that indirectly allude to compliance, such as the whistleblower protection law or EU Directive 2019/1937. These laws underscore the importance of having mechanisms in place, such as the whistleblower channel. Specifically that promotes an ethical and transparent work environment.

The compliance officer plays a fundamental role in this scenario, taking charge of managing the compliance program. Also, ensuring that all regulations are respected and avoiding potential sanctions.

But when is compliance really mandatory?
There are certain laws and statutes that do require organizations to have a regulatory compliance control system in place. Accordingly such as the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Although the debate over whether
should be mandatory continues, there is no doubt of its value and benefit to companies. In addition to ensuring legal compliance, it also contributes to improving the company’s image in the eyes of partners, investors and customers. In addition, it is often a requirement to establish business relationships with large companies or international companies.


Beyond the fact that it is mandatory, implementing a compliance program compliance is highly recommended. Therefore provides legal certainty and protects companies from potential sanctions. In an ever-changing business world, being prepared and up-to-date in terms of regulations is a necessity. Correspondingly compliance is the perfect tool for this.

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