The new year is upon us, and many people have already settled upon their personal new year’s resolutions for 2017. Maybe you want to eat better, or perhaps you will walk the dog more often. But what about small business resolutions? January is a slow period for many industries, so it is a great time of year to make some needed changes to your small business. Here two small business resolutions to consider for 2017:
“I will maintain my company book.”
Anyone who regularly reads the Law Offices of Randall M. Weiner, P.C. blog knows that we mention the company book in almost every post about business law. This is because it is not all that difficult to maintain a company book, and yet so many small businesses simply don’t have one and/or don’t keep it updated.
When properly maintained, the company book can be a valuable business asset. Think of your company book as both the annotated history of, and instruction manual for, your business. A good company book should contain:
- Secretary of State filings, such as Articles of Organization (or Articles of Incorporation), periodic reports, state trademark and trade name filings, and Certificates of Good Standing.
- The primary business governance document (e.g., Operating Agreement, Operating Declaration, or Bylaws), and all the amendments to the same, and prior versions of the same.
- Records of all company meetings in the form of meeting minutes.
- Records of all major business decisions. Many business decisions occur at meetings, so the company’s meeting minutes should memorialize most business decisions. Decisions that are not made at meetings are memorialized in resolutions.
- Basic licenses and tax documents, such as the federal employer identification number (“EIN”), state licenses and certificates, etc….
- Ownership ledger, which should be updated regularly to reflect ownership contributions and draws.
- Other important documents, such as ownership (buy/sell) agreements, important contracts, etc….
“I will review and revise my template business contracts.”
Many businesses have a set of template contracts that they use over and over again. Does your small business use the same customer agreement with every customer? Do you have a set of terms and conditions that you provide to every client? Do you have bid or proposal forms? Now, think about the last time you actually reviewed and revised those templates.
Even though small businesses use their template contracts daily, many small business owners fail to regularly review their contracts to make sure they are still relevant and appropriate. Even if an attorney drafted your templates for you, the templates still need to be reviewed over time as laws change and your business evolves. A small business attorney can help you review and revise your templates.
The law is always changing. We cannot guarantee that the information provided herein is current and accurate. Every situation is different. Do not refrain from seeking legal advice from a lawyer because of anything contained in this blog. Consult an attorney for individual legal advice regarding your own situation.