The end of the year can be a hectic time for everyone, and that’s no different for small business owners. To try to make it slightly less so, we’ve put together an end-of-year checklist to make closing out the year a success.
All states in which you are organized or have a certificate of authority to conduct business require you to file an annual report to stay in good standing. For LLCs, these were actually due April 15 in North Carolina, but you should file it now to avoid an administrative dissolution. Waiting until next year will not allow you to avoid paying this year’s fee. For corporations, your report is due four months after your fiscal year ends.
You should review your insurance policies to make sure your business is properly covered. While each business has different insurance needs, and those can change as you grow, you likely need liability insurance at a minimum. If you have at least three employees, you will need workers compensation insurance. If your business has changed, make sure your insurance still covers you.
You may be planning to grow or expand over the coming year, which could mean charges to where you need licenses, to register your company, and additional insurance. Make sure your growth considers all of the areas.
Although we don’t provide tax services, make sure your end of year review includes meeting with your tax advisers. Changes in business, employees, purchases, and investments can all change your tax position, either this year or next.
You may have closed a business, division, or left a state over the past year. Make sure to file articles of dissolution, close accounts,
end licenses, and otherwise wrap up in any areas that you have ceased doing business this year.
If you are a corporation (Inc.), make sure to have your annual meeting, with minutes, even if the plan is to continue business as usual. You must have an annual meeting that covers the major business decisions and activities.
Review your contracts with clients, vendors, or affiliates. In addition to changes in laws, you may have changes in business activities or practices that need to be addressed in your contracts. Even if you have not changed anything, it is a good idea to review your contracts to maintain a good understanding of your rights and obligations in all of your business dealings.