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Legal Documents You Need To Review In November

legal documents

Let’s face it, how many business owners think about reviewing legal documents in November?

For me and am sure for most business owners November is usually hectic. It is the holiday season. You’re trying to juggle many things at the same time.  Creating time for your business, spending time with family and friends. The last thing you want to worry about in the midst of all these chaotic time is legal documents.

The truth is, as much as you would want to concentrate on the holiday, not reviewing your legal documents could be costly. I always belief that doing little things like periodic reviews  saves your business a great deal.

Reviewing your legal documents gives you a better sense where your business is in terms of obligations and financials.

Let us look at some of the legal document you need  to review in November.

    1.  Review All Storage And Records/Documents Retention Policies

Based on the IRS guideline these are some documents you need to keep and for how long. Remember, be smart with your storage and records/documents retention. Be sure you are not keeping too much or too little. You never want to pay penalty for failure to provide all necessary documents.  Before you shred any document you are not sure if you should shred, consult your accountant or lawyer.

These are just few out of the many documents in each categories.

Business documents to keep for three years:

  1. Bank deposit slips
  2. Correspondence with customers and vendors
  3. Credit card statements
  4. Employee personnel records (after termination)*
  5. Expense reports
  6. Expired Insurance policies
  7. Petty cash vouchers

Business documents to keep for six years:

  1. Accident reports and claims
  2. Accounts payable ledgers
  3. Accounts receivable ledgers
  4. Bank statements and reconciliation reports
  5. Cancelled stock and bond certificates
  6. Employment tax records
  7. Expired contracts, leases

Business records to keep forever:

  1. Audit reports from CPAs and/or accountants
  2. Contracts, leases currently in effect
  3. Corporate documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)
  4. Documents of fixed asset additions
  5. Financial statements, year-end
  6. Insurance records, including current accident reports, claims and policies
  7. Investment trade confirmations and statements
  8. IRS revenue agents reports

The fastest way to lose your legal protection leading to personal asset lose is to have inaccurate legal documents. Keep your legal documents as lean as possible but don’t lose the most important ones. In addition,  renew, register and pay for your licenses/permits and regulatory documents. It’s important these legal documents don’t expire to avoid fines, and avoidable stress.

   2.   Review All Vendor And Independent Contractor Files (I-9s, contact info, due diligence, etc) And/or Employee Files

If you are in an income tax withholding states, there are employment records retention period.  Check with your state’s treasury department for their required retention period for employee related files.

Employee Documents

Review all your employees documents. Employment laws changes often that can render your employment agreement invalid. You would want to review your employment agreement to avoid fines or lawsuits. The holidays are great time to focus on acquiring new clients not replacing employees. So, make sure none of your employees is quitting on you during the busy season. If you’re expecting an increase in new clients acquisition, you need to make sure you have enough help to get the job done.

In addition to meeting your employees record requirements.  Keeping all the documents relating to independent contractors and vendors  accurate is equally important.

Independent Contractors files:

  1. Review IRS criteria to ensure your business is still maintaining an Independent Contractor  relationship
  2. Confirm W-9 is on record…you should keep it for four years
  3. Send 1099-MISC each year for any contractor (e.g., attorney, accountant, consultant) paid $600 or more for services provided during the year

 

Vendor’s Documents.

To achieve your financial goals you need to cut costs and spend less. Constantly review your vendor documents make sure you are not pouring way more money than you should. A slight increase in your expenses can significantly impact your revenue if your business is not ready for such increase.

Two  good ways you can cut cost are: negotiate lower rates with your vendors.  Don’t restrict yourself to your vendors alone, reach out to your vendors competitions and negotiate with them as well.

 

Give me your thought and let me know any other topics your would like me to discuss.

 

A Firm handshake is not enough. You must cover your ass! Discover how to avoid legal headaches, make more sales, and keep your money. Get these client contract forms now!


Augusta Massey
Augusta Massey
Are you a coach or entrepreneur? Do you have legal questions or need help with your contract templates? It's okay, Augusta has got you covered. I will work with you through a 1-on-1 free consultation session to provide practical solutions that safeguard your business. Even if you already have a contract form but not sure it is comprehensive enough. We will audit, update or create detailed contracts that protects your business and money.