Preparing Your Business for Year-End- Part 1

Are you readyBusiness owners often focus their year-end analysis on taxes and other financial issues. Although it is important to consult with your tax professional for year-end recommendations on how to reduce your tax liability, there are a number of other legal matters that need your attention.

Prepare annual corporation registration

Georgia corporations must file an annual registration with the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. This provides documentation that the corporation still exists. If the business address has changed, or there has been a change of corporation officers, this is a time to note the change on the annual registration form. Make sure all required documents are on file.

Review all contracts and business agreements

Businesses run on contracts. The end of the year is an excellent time to review them all with the assistance of your legal counsel.

  1. Be sure that vendor contracts are all up-to-date. Some may terminate at the end of the year and need to be renewed. Others may have clauses that require extending them. Be sure all terms have been met on your side of the agreements in order to avoid allegations that you are in breach.
  2. Leasing agreements for property and equipment should be current. If it is time to renew any lease, reevaluate the terms of the agreements to see if they are still applicable. Evaluate whether there are terms you would like to add or delete based on the way the contracts have worked for you over the last year.
  3. Review employment contracts. If you have made changes in a benefits package, be sure that is included in an updated contract. Make certain that your contracts provide you protection from competition if an employee takes a position with a competing company.

Review personnel files

  1. Be sure all required legal forms, such as tax forms and insurance information, are signed, dated and included in the files.
  2. Review job descriptions and edit them when necessary. Legal counsel can assist with this and with how to draft new employment contracts when necessary if the job description needs to be changed.

Co-Parenting During the Holidays-Part 1

Kids HalloweenStores are currently overflowing with Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat candy flourishes on display counters. Any day now, fresh Christmas ornaments will be for sale. You might even find a set of porcelain pilgrims to purchase.

October marks the beginning of the three month holiday marathon which is supposed to be a time of fun, thanksgiving and joy. Instead, for divorced parents, the difficulties of co-parenting during the holiday season are often compounded. Here are some tips to help you co-parent for Halloween, keeping in mind the best interest of the children.

Communicate with the other parent

During the month of October, students often have school holiday events. Both parents should have a school calendar and be aware of the dates of the events and what is expected of the children. The custodial parent should keep the non-custodial one in the loop even if only by email or texting. For example, if there is a field trip planned, like to a pumpkin patch, be sure a parent has signed the permission slip and that the children are dressed appropriately for the day of the event.

How to deal with trick-or-treating or Halloween parties

The parent at whose house the children will be on Halloween needs to be sure the costumes are with the children. If the children leave one parent’s house in the morning, and will be picked up after school by the other parent, be sure the costume is not left behind at the wrong house.

Consider the wants and needs of the children above the needs of the parent. If you are the parent that has custody or visitation for the holiday evening, but the children would prefer to spend the evening in the more familiar neighborhood where they spend more time, be flexible about changing your plans to best meet the needs of the children.

Check your final divorce papers regarding custody and visitation

The custody agreement generally defines which parent has custody of the children for certain holidays. If Halloween is not mentioned, work out acceptable terms with the other parent. If it is spelled out in writing, you either must comply with the order or ask the court for a modification.