2017 is racing toward the finish line—is your small business prepared to head into the new year? The holidays can be an overwhelming time with end of the year paperwork and sales goals, and the small business professionals at LexLauch.Com want to make things as easy as possible for you. We’ve created a simple checklist to help you close out this year and get 2018 off to a great start.

Here’s our checklist of legal items for small business owners to review before the clock strikes midnight on January 1:

  • Review your business structure. Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships, but need to transition to a different type as they grow. If your business is not incorporated, you might want to consider filing as an LLC to reduce your financial risk and possibly give you more flexibility when it comes to taxation. Your CPA can review your current tax situation, and the professionals at LexLaunch.Com can explain the legal benefits of incorporation with you.
  • Close inactive businesses. Did you start a business in the past and it is no longer in operation? Even if you’ve physically and mentally closed the doors on this venture, you need to file formal termination paperwork of your LLC or Corporation. If you don’t, you might still be charged fees associated with the business and you may still be required to submit tax returns to your state and the IRS. Legal professionals can help you file an “Article of Dissolution” or “Certificate of Termination” document with the Secretary of State, as well as help you cancel any licenses or permits you hold in the state or country.
  • Hold an annual meeting for your LLC or Corporation. It’s important to keep your business in good standing, and accurate bookkeeping is frequently overlooked by small business owners. Annual meetings allow you to stay in good standing with your choice of business structure. Along with the meeting, it is a good idea to record minutes of the topics addressed and the members present. You can read more about annual meetings and minutes HERE.
  • File an Amendment to your Articles of Organization. For any major changes to your business in the past year. If you have changed business structure, authorized more shares, or changed board members you will want to file a notification with your state. This is a vital step in keeping your “corporate veil” from being pierced and keeps your business in good standing with the state.
  • Tie up any loose ends. Review any other changes that have occurred in the past year, and take action to compete any final steps. Does your business need a Fictitious Business Name (also known as a “Doing Business As” or DBA)? Are all of your licenses and permits current?

The end of the year can be hectic, but if you set aside some time to close out any business needs and resolve issues at the end of 2017, you can prepare your business for a fresh start in 2018! Don’t go it alone, make an appointment to speak to a legal representative to learn more about how you can decrease risks and protect your business in 2018. Call the professionals at LexLaunch.com today at (816) 434-6610 or click here for more information.