TCPA Compliance Checklist and Best Practices for Businesses

March 1, 2024 8 min read

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby


TCPA compliance is adherence to regulations outlined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which requires businesses to obtain prior express consent before initiating marketing conversations with them.

Maintaining compliance with regulations isn’t just a legal obligation but a testament to ethical business practices.

The TCPA is a cornerstone of consumer privacy protection in marketing communications, and businesses need to keep TCPA requirements in mind to avoid costly violations and penalties, particularly regarding their contact center operations.

Below, we’ll dive deep into a TCPA compliance checklist that covers all business communication platforms and touches on violations and their consequences. We’ll also cover implementing a TCPA compliance plan for your business.

Let’s get started. 

1. Obtain and Document Consent

The heart of the TCPA is respecting consumer privacy and autonomy by obtaining their consent to send marketing communications. This safeguards consumers against unsolicited and intrusive marketing practices and helps businesses target their call center campaigns more effectively.

TCPA mandates that businesses obtain prior express written consent from consumers before initiating those communications with them. If you don’t obtain consent first, you could face severe penalties and legal consequences.

There are three main types of consent for TCPA compliance:

These three types of consent give varying levels of assurance about consumers’ willingness to let you market to them. They form the basis of a TCPA-compliant plan.

Record-keeping and documentation best practices

You can obtain consent through online forms, opt-in texts or emails, types of CRM systems, and other means. Aside from obtaining consent, you should keep diligent records to prove it. Good record-keeping helps businesses show that they adhere to guidelines, and records can help defend against potential legal challenges.

Tips for thorough documentation to achieve TCPA compliance

Once you obtain consent, document it. Include the method of consent (like an online form or verbal communication) and the date, time, and any relevant communication details. If customers opt out of any communications, keep note of that.

Besides the law, read up on your call center software provider’s acceptable use policy — some might prohibit certain calling practices that might be legal but degrade the service provided to other customers. 

2. Honor the National Do Not Call Registry

Together, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintain the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, a database of consumers who opted out of telephone solicitation with a do-not-call request. Individuals can register their numbers for free. The law requires telemarketers to access the registry and remove registered numbers from their calling lists.

The DNC registry empowers consumers to control their exposure to telemarketers and holds businesses accountable for respecting their preferences.

You don’t need to update your own do-not-call list — you can monitor the registry with automated systems that regularly cross-reference your call lists with the FTC database.

3. Adhere to Call Time Restrictions

The TCPA prohibits telemarketing calls to residential phone numbers before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. at the called party’s location.

These restrictions govern the specific days and hours businesses can make calls. While the TCPA doesn’t explicitly prohibit telemarketing on weekends or holidays, it does require businesses to use discretion to avoid calls when consumers aren’t likely to be home or might not be open to marketing calls.

Since VoIP phones can make voice calls from anywhere with an internet connection, contact centers often call consumers in distant time zones. It’s always the responsibility of the business to know the time zone of whoever they’re calling. To avoid a potential violation, make sure your agents know the time wherever they’re calling.

4. Comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR)

The TSR is a set of regulations that protect consumers from deceptive and abusive telemarketing practices. While the TCPA primarily regulates phone communication for marketing purposes, the TSR provides additional guidelines specific to telemarketing sales calls.

The Telemarketing Sales Rule mandates compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry and requires telemarketers to provide accurate caller ID. It also imposes record-keeping requirements on telemarketers, including maintenance of calling lists, consent records, and records of sales transactions — a call center best practice.

5. Respect Opt-Out Requests

Opt-out requests come from consumers who no longer wish to receive telemarketing calls or texts. Any business that sends marketing calls, texts, application-to-person messages, or emails needs to give consumers a way to opt out of receiving them.

When someone opts out, you must promptly honor that request. Avoid communicating with that consumer unless they explicitly opt back in to remain compliant.

While it might not be exciting to hear that someone no longer wants to hear from your business, it’s crucial to respect their preferences.

6. Note Caller ID Requirements

Transparency is a key goal of TCPA regulations, and caller ID requirements help achieve that goal. Telemarketers need to accurately transmit identifying information, like a telephone number and, if possible, a business name. The STIR/SHAKEN protocol helps businesses obtain a digital certificate that authenticates their business and identifies themselves to consumers.

💡Did you know? There aren’t guidelines to govern caller ID accuracy, but there are regulations that prohibit using fake caller ID information, like the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which makes it illegal to falsify caller ID information with malicious intent.

Falsifying contact information to deceive consumers and disguise identity is called spoofing. Caller ID helps foster trust and build positive relationships with your consumers, and faking caller ID can lead to costly violations and a damaged reputation.

7. Prioritize SMS Compliance

With a true omnichannel contact center, businesses can keep the conversation going when a customer switches communication channels — the context of their previous conversations will inform their next one, regardless of which channel it’s on.


In the context of TCPA, this means more channels where businesses need to obtain explicit consent to communicate with customers.

Almost one-third of customers report sending an SMS to request assistance from a business — all of these messages require opt-in consent for you to respond. If you’re not prioritizing your SMS compliance, you might eliminate a key opportunity to connect with your customers and improve customer experience (CX).

TCPA covers automations and business text messaging tools, too. You must also adhere to time restrictions and avoid texting anyone during off hours.

8. Mind Robocall Regulations

Robocalls are automated phone calls using auto-dialer software to deliver a prerecorded voice message.

TCPA rules apply to robocalls just as they apply to other telemarketing communications. This doesn’t mean robocalls are now a thing of the past, but it does help limit annoying spam (and some common scams).

VoIP features can help businesses manage prerecorded calls and flag them for TCPA violations, like advanced call management to block and filter robocalls in real time, or apps that use crowdsourced data and machine learning to screen and block incoming robocalls.

TCPA Violations and Penalties: What Businesses Need to Know

TCPA non-compliance can result in significant penalties. TCPA fines vary depending on the severity of the violation — usually, whether it’s deemed negligent or willful. If a business violated TCPA rules willfully, they’re likely to receive a heftier fine.

TCPA ViolationConsequence
Unauthorized robocalls$500 to $1,500 per call
Do Not Call Registry violations$500 to $1,500 per call
Failure to provide caller IDRegulatory fines
Failure to honor opt-out requestsRegulatory fines, legal repercussions
Deceptive telemarketing practicesRegulatory fines, legal repercussions
Record-keeping violationsRegulatory fines, audits

The best way to mitigate risk regarding TCPA compliance is to ensure that consent is top of mind in all your communication practices. Obtain consent, document it thoroughly, and stay up to date on regulatory changes related to TCPA and TSR.

Complaints and even lawsuits are possible consequences of TCPA violations. Dealing with them requires a proactive approach to reputation management and risk mitigation, which can include:

With the right proactive steps to address complaints and mitigate risk, you can better manage TCPA-related challenges.

How to Implement TCPA Compliance in Your Business

The best way to avoid TCPA violations is to regularly assess your compliance from the get-go. Businesses that comply with the TCPA can better maintain customer trust by avoiding unwanted (and illegal) communications.

Develop a TCPA compliance policy 

You’ll need a compliance plan if you want to make sure you adhere to all TCPA regulations and avoid any TCPA litigation. You’ll also need to designate a compliance officer responsible for implementing and monitoring your compliance efforts.

Train and educate your team

Keep your team sharp and compliant with special training programs about call center best practices.

It’s a good idea to touch on topics like:

  • TCPA regulations
  • Compliance requirements
  • Ethical communication practices

Your employees must know about obtaining proper consent, honoring opt-out requests, giving accurate caller ID, and keeping detailed records.

Perform regular compliance audits

Audits and call center QA can help catch any blind spots in your compliance plan. With periodic reviews of records and record-keeping practices, you can make sure you’re obtaining the right kind of consent and keeping track of it appropriately. 

Audits can help you catch important customer feedback about your communication practices. You can also spot instances of non-compliance and address them swiftly.

Leverage the right tech for compliance

Customer experience technology facilitates TCPA compliance by making it easier than ever to track your efforts to obtain consent. Data management tools can keep records accessible and update them in real time, ensuring your customer preferences are always current. Plus, tech helps prioritize transparency and caller security with tools like caller verification.

Work with legal counsel for compliance assurance

Complaints and legal challenges aren’t ideal. Legal counsel can help you make sure that you’re up to date on TCPA rules and shape your compliance policy. This will help you adapt to any regulatory changes that may happen in the future.

⚠️ While we referenced some of the laws pertaining to telemarketing, this guide is not legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your state if you have specific questions about your situation.

Scale Your Contact Center Worry-Free With Nextiva

TCPA compliance is a must for any business that uses marketing communications. Violations can lead to legal liabilities and financial penalties, which can severely damage your reputation. Luckily, a TCPA compliance checklist can help you stay on the right side of the law and keep customer trust intact.

You can navigate regulatory complexities while building customer trust and respect by understanding TCPA requirements, implementing robust compliance measures, and staying vigilant.

Today’s modern contact center software has compliance and reporting functionality built in, so you can grow fearlessly and know that your team is operating in the clear.

Scale up with contact center AI.

The modern contact center has arrived. See how Nextiva helps you deliver the best customer experience at scale.

Jeremiah Zerby


Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

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