When it comes to choosing a VoIP provider, there are countless options for partner programs to join and resell a voice solution as part of your product offering. Many companies advertise an easy, low-cost way for MSPs to profit from reselling their product in today’s market and often make many guarantees to get you on board. Wholesale VoIP providers can make it sound so easy, but will they provide all their partners with the necessary tools and support needed to successfully offer the service? Oftentimes, choosing to white label a VoIP service leaves you dealing with the regulatory requirements, taxes, fees, etc. causing a headache and additional items for you to keep up with. Instead of VoIP being an easy, seamless addition to your primary service offering, it now becomes a time-stealer and chaos of compliances to stay on top of.
Unfortunately, there are often misconceptions about the regulatory and compliance obligations that fall on the VoIP provider versus the reseller. To make sure you aren’t potentially facing late fees, penalties, and fines in the future, you need to be sure who that responsibility falls on or it could be very costly for your business.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a VoIP provider to make sure adding this service offering is a smooth and successful transition.
VoIP is Regulated: Telecom carriers and VoIP service providers are held to the regulation of rates, terms, and conditions of the service. Our VoIP service with Loop Communications is responsible for the FCC compliance, not our partners. We believe in fully supporting our MSP partners and their customers, including managing all regulations to help reduce the reseller’s burdens and time commitment to offering our service.
Compliance & Regulations are Continually Changing: Most VoIP providers will offer a white-labeling program that allows the MSP to bill the customer their desired fees, but at the same time, must take responsibility to comply with the continually evolving regulations. Sometimes, the wholesale provider will offer a package deal program that includes compliance with some of the federal and state regulatory obligations, such as payment of USF and TRS fees.
Resellers are Required to Register with Form 499: A VoIP provider who offers White Labeling may assume that the reseller is already registered with the FCC, however, if the reseller fails to meet its own regulatory obligations, the provider can be held responsible. It is up to the provider to ensure their resellers are complying with all regulations or potentially face fines.
The FCC Will Not Cut You a Break: The FCC does not distinguish fines by carrier size. Instead, the fines are a fixed rate or rate per day that a violation continues. Even if a company avoids these penalties, late filing penalties for failure to file a Form 499 A or Q and/or late payment penalties for failing to pay USF, TRS, or other fees can be substantial. For example, there is a minimum late filing penalty of $100 for each month that a Form 499 filing is late.
Collecting Taxes & Fees: The MSP that invoices their customers directly are responsible for collecting taxes and fees which vary by City, County, and State. They also have manage the federally required contributions and fees with the FCC
911 Compliance: MSPs that white-label VoIP are responsible for ensuring that their service is compliant with all emergency services regulations. See more information in our E911 compliance article: https://www.loopcommunications.com/e911-law-what-msps-should-know/
Loop Communication’s Partner Program ensures all reseller partners are set up for success from the start. We take responsibility for adhering to FCC compliances, regulations, taxes, and fees. We focus on reducing the burden on our partners, so they have more time to focus on their primary service offerings. If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a demo of our VoIP service and partner program, please contact [email protected] or call 800-586-0321