Business 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Be sure all required legal forms, such as tax forms and insurance information, are signed, dated and included in the files.
- 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.