Amazingly, we are coming to the end of the year and the decade. This is the time of year that we share good cheer and well wishes with our family, friends and colleagues. It is also a good time to both reflect and plan on your business’ path.
As to reflection, before the end of the year, you should make sure that all of your transactions and relationships are properly documented. Have you had changes during the year in your relationship with contractors, vendors or suppliers? If so, have you made sure to properly reflect those changes in writing? If you have written contracts (and if you have ever learned anything from me, you know you should), do those contracts currently reflect the terms of the relationship? If you don’t have written contracts, now is the time to make sure that your relationships are properly documented.
If your business is in a corporation, have you had your annual meeting and have you created your annual minutes? If you have not, you run the risk of nullifying the protections against personal liability that your corporation creates. If your business is in a limited liability company, is your operating agreement up to date?
Is your business owed money? Many times, you are able to negotiate better resolutions of moneys owed at the end of the year as business want to clear up liabilities by the end of the year.
As to planning, I strongly suggest that as you write your New Year’s resolutions, you create the same for your business. However, unlike typical resolutions, you should look to truly keep your business resolutions. For example, if you have employees, but do not have an employee handbook or policies and procedures, given the greater likelihood of liability without these things, you should create them.
If your business is a limited liability company and you don’t have an operating agreement, this kind of roadmap is the best way to ensure understanding and protection of your business. Similarly, if you do not have a succession plan or a buy/sell agreement for your business, these vital documents can help to protect your business and your family in the event of unexpected changes.
Finally, as the year comes a close, I am also reflective. I am overwhelmingly grateful for my clients, colleagues, friends and members of our community. I wish you and yours prosperity and joy in the coming decade and always.