End-of-Year Checklist for Your Small Business

It's a great time of year to consider some year-end steps for your business so that you can have a clear business focus at the start of the new year.

Tax Business

Here is a simple end-of-year checklist for your small business:

  1. Reconsider Your Business Structure If you started your business as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, it is great time to consider incorporating or formally organizing a limited liability business structure. Without such a structure, you leave yourself personally liable for the financial risks of your business. Take advantage of one of the greatest tools in the history of capitalism: the limited liability business structure.
  2. Estimate Your Taxes The United States tax system employs a pay-as-you-go model. Just as employees are subject to periodic withholdings of wages, business owners must also pay and report quarterly taxes to the Internal Revenue Service on an ongoing basis. It's best to keep a running total at all times so that there are no surprises at the end of the year. Review your business taxes to avoid noncompliance with tax law.
  3. Hold an Annual Meeting All corporations (and many LLCs) should hold an annual business meeting as required by state law and a company’s internal documentation. Annual meetings are an excellent place to elect officers and directors and to discuss (and notate) important business decisions collectively agreed to amongst a corporation’s shareholders and directors.
  4. File “Articles of Amendment” If you have made any changes in your business like the business address, number of shares, or business name, you should file Article of Amendments to reflect such changes.
  5. Close any Inactive Businesses You should consider formally dissolving inactive businesses. Inactive businesses may still generate fees and ongoing duties on behalf of the company’s directors and shareholders. In this election season, there is no excuse for “hanging chads.”
  6. Tie Up Loose Ends of Your Business The end of the year is also a great time to revisit and reevaluate a host of business issues that may have been neglected earlier in the year such as:
    • Review your contracts or agreements with vendors or other parties such as nondisclosure agreements, licensing agreements and intellectual property agreements to ensure continued compliance;
    • Revise, revamp and improve your service agreement with customers;
    • Reapply or renew applicable licenses and permits; and
    • Evaluate your insurance coverage and shop your policies to obtain the best possible coverage.

Keating and Lyden

Keating & Lyden LLC was founded by attorneys-at-law, Robert J. Keating, and Thomas P. Lyden and is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Bellingham, Washington. The attorneys specialize in providing legal advice in real estate matters to businesses and individuals pertaining to real estate management and operation including: tenancy in common agreements, partition agreements, real estate financing, homeowner’s associations and land use issues. They also provide the highest quality legal services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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