Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year Checklist for Your Business

Setting resolutions and goals are a big part of each new year. While this is a common practice among individuals, it is often overlooked when it comes to businesses and assessing what needs to be done in the coming year for your business’ overall health. Below is a short checklist for the small business and the franchisor business that can help you make sure that your business is adequately set up for 2013.

·         Do you have a Buy-Sell Agreement in place among your partners? If not, this should be a priority.
·         Update and review your Employment Agreement(s).
·         Update (if necessary) your Bylaws or Operating Agreement to reflect any changes from 2012 and make the appropriate changes with the government agency regulating entities.
·         Make sure your trademark filings are up-to-date and appropriate renewals have been filed.
·         Double check on your UCC-1 filings either you have filed against someone or that someone has filed against you. For your filings you want to make sure you have not let them lapse or expire.
·         Update or create your will or other estate plan.

If you are a franchisor, you want to be especially careful that over the next couple of months you are making sure that you follow a schedule to ensure timely registration and renewal of your franchise.

·         Order your audit. In our experience this is the most common hold-up in the renewal and registration process each year. Ordering your audit early can help ensure that you can have timely renewals and registrations.
·         Sit down and review your system. Have you made any material changes or do you want to make any material changes to your system?
·         Set up a time to meet with your attorney to go over material changes in your system.
·         Have everything prepared and reviewed by March 20 so that you can submit your registrations and renewal filings on time. 
·         Make sure that you have all the documents from new franchisee purchases in 2012 (i.e. signed franchise agreement, certificates of insurance, dba filings, entity filings, etc.).
·         Set up a time to review sales restrictions and requirements with your franchise sales force.