It seems like we just started 2019 and the year is almost over. Beyond asking myself where did the time go, 2019 was another year of growth for Kendall Law — thanks to our amazing clients and referral partners.
How was it for your business? The year-end is a really good time for small business owners to look at their business and make sure that it is “legally fit” for 2020.
- Business Structure: If you are a running your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership you should consult with your CPA to determine if another business structure would be a better choice. Electing to incorporate, whether as an S-Corp, C-Corp or LLC, could protect you from personal liability and could give you some tax benefits. Once you’ve talked to your CPA and determine if you should incorporate, Ryan Blaney of Kendall Law can assist in forming the proper entity for your business.
- Inactive Business: If you have a business that you started but is no longer an active business, you need to file a formal termination of the business with the Secretary of State. If you do not, the state will charge you fees and you will be expected to file an annual report and submit tax returns.
- Annual Meeting: If you’ve already incorporated your business, you need to make sure that you have held your annual meeting. The end of the year is a good time to conduct the meeting to analyze the year and plan for next year. Make sure that meeting is memorialized in written meeting minutes.
- Changes to Business: If you have made any changes in your business, address, corporate officers, someone left the company, you will need to file notice of those changes with an Article of Amendment. Making sure you do this each year will keep your business in good standing to protect your assets.
- Taxes: At the end of the year, you’ll want to review the income to date and assess your estimated taxes to avoid overpayment or underpayment. You can then make the necessary adjustments for the next tax year.
- Employment Agreements: End of the year is also a good time to review your current contracts with employees or put written agreements in place. It’s important that you understand labor laws to ensure you’re not misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor. Review, update and seek legal advice.
- Protect Trademarks and Business Name: You’ve spent a lot of time and money building your brand so protect it! A qualified attorney, like Ryan Blaney, can review your trademarks and brand to determine what steps should be taken to protect those assets.
As small business owners, we get caught up in the daily tasks of running our business and easily forget to take care of these other matters. But they’re critical to address so you can confidently move forward into next year, knowing your business is in good standing and up to date with your current practices. (As I write this article it reminds me that I have some of these items on my own to-do list!)