Law and Regulations to Keep in Mind When Setting up Fulfillment Centers

According to recent data, after having a positive customer service experience, 89% of customers are likely to make a repeat purchase. And any business worth its salt will tell you that repeat business means success. You can easily ensure repeat business by setting up a fulfillment center.

A fulfillment center is one of the essential parts of your business. It’s where all of your products are stored, sorted, and shipped to customers quickly and efficiently. The way you set up your fulfillment centers can make or break your business. 

Labor Law

Labor law is an extensive and complex area, especially considering that labor laws vary from state to state. There are a few key points you should keep in mind when setting up your fulfillment center:

  • You have to comply with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This law expands employees’ rights to engage in union activity, which is why it’s important for companies dealing with employees to understand this part of the law.
  • You have to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act governs minimum wages and overtime pay for workers in private sector jobs. If you hire warehouse workers who fit under this category, then you need to know how much they’re making and how many hours they’re working each week so that you can calculate their correct pay rate based on FLSA guidelines.
  • You also must ensure that your fulfillment operations comply with governmental regulations regarding occupational health and safety issues like heat stress prevention programs (for example) and medical leave policies.

Workplace Safety

Employers must maintain a safe workplace and provide all reasonable care to protect their employees and visitors from harm. This responsibility is mandated by law and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is a government agency that ensures that employees are not exposed to unsafe conditions at work. They do this through inspections, training programs, grants for small businesses, voluntary compliance assistance, whistleblower investigations, and legal action.

The federal government does not have jurisdiction over many workplaces, such as churches or farms, with fewer than ten employees. However, some states may have laws with stricter guidelines in the place where those businesses are located. Many states also have their state agencies charged with enforcing these regulations on their behalf. The California State Department of Labor & Industry (CDL&I) enforces all state workplace safety regulations, including Cal/OSHA standards for private sector industries that employ over five workers.

Health Code

Food safety is of the utmost importance when dealing with food products, and ensuring that your fulfillment center follows all regulations is crucial to protecting your brand. If a customer receives contaminated or expired food, they will be unlikely to purchase from you again. You must also ensure proper storage and transportation of the food items for their journey from the supplier to your fulfillment center to arrive in good shape.

If you have issues with food safety at any point along this journey, you must know how to handle them properly so as not to cause undue harm or damage to yourself or others. You may have received a complaint from a customer about an item being spoiled, so how do you respond? What if you accidentally deliver an order with expired merchandise? There are rules for these situations as well. Let’s take a look at some common ones:

  • If there is ever an issue with spoiled/contaminated product (either on arrival or during storage), immediately inform management to take action appropriately.
  • Do not dispose of any contaminated/spoiled items until further instructions are given by management. They may assist in determining who should be notified of the problem first before making any decisions regarding disposal options based on the company policy and legal requirements (for example, FDA).

Commercial Building Codes

It’s important to understand that commercial building codes differ from residential ones. The commercial code is designed to meet more rigorous demands, including the need for more space, higher ceilings, and a greater variety of product types. To comply with these standards, you’ll need a facility that can accommodate your business’s needs and protect its inventory.

Before choosing a site for your fulfillment center location, ensure it meets all federal requirements. And also, consider factors like accessibility (including parking spaces), transportation access and costs (both in terms of rent or purchase price), proximity to major roads or highways, local zoning codes, and how close it is to your clientele base. It would be tough to get everything ready on time without worrying about whether or not there will be enough space available when you’re ready.

Commercial buildings are required by law to meet specific safety standards, such as having proper exits in case someone gets trapped inside their workplace at nightfall when everyone leaves work together after shift hours.

Environmental Compliance

It’s essential to ensure your fulfillment center is compliant with environmental laws and regulations. An excellent place to start is by ensuring your facility is built in accordance with code. You should also ensure that you have a plan for dealing with hazardous materials and waste.

You may want to consider hiring an environmental engineer or consultant who can help guide your business through setting up proper waste management and disposal practices at your fulfillment center.

Customs Clearance Regulations

You should also be aware of customs clearance regulations. Customs clearance is the process by which goods and services are imported, exported, or moved between countries.

Customs agencies monitor import and export activity for various reasons, including ensuring taxes are paid when goods are sold in another country, that trade agreements have been fulfilled and that certain products meet legal standards (for example, food safety). They may also seek to prevent illegal weapons or drugs from entering their country.


You have to make sure you comply with lots of different regulations when setting up a new fulfillment center. The Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency all have regulations that your company must follow. 

You’ll also need to comply with commercial building codes set by your state or municipality. Customs clearance regulations vary by country and how much you plan on importing or exporting through your warehouse.

It’s essential to know the laws and regulations to set up fulfillment centers to avoid costly fines or citations. If you’re interested in starting a business that involves shipping goods domestically or internationally, then some specific rules and regulations must be followed.

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