It's almost the end of the calendar year, which is a great time to assess your business and take care of legal matters for the next year.
Hopefully, you had a successful holiday sales period. But with 2013 just around the corner, you can't rest on your laurels.
With a hat tip to Inc. magazine, which recently suggested a handful of year-end preparations for entrepreneurs, here are five year-end legal tasks you may want to address as you prepare for an even better next year:
- Get ready to pay taxes. You should start setting aside some cash to pay your business taxes when they become due. If you don't prepare, you could experience a hit to your cash reserve come April 15.
- Make sure you're still insured. From workers' compensation insurance to fire and casualty insurance to health insurance, you'll want to make sure you're covered for the next year. With many using pay-as-you-go insurance, you don't want to expose yourself to liability.
- Review your suppliers and your contracts. Take stock of how much you paid for your supplies and other necessary tools to run your business. Then take a look at new suppliers and new technology. You may be surprised that some new way of doing business like cloud computing can save you significant amounts of money. It may also be time to renegotiate some vendor contracts, which an experienced business attorney can help you with.
- Re-evaluate your business plan for 2013. You shouldn't only look at your business plan when you first go into business. Instead, you should take it out every year and see how you have progressed. You will also need to make any necessary changes and adjustments.
- Update your policies and handbook. Didn't think you needed policies about social media, gun control, or workplace violence last year? Well, you may want to put some new policies in writing for next year. Take a look at your policies and make the necessary changes.
The best way to get off to a great start in the new year is to prepare. Look back on 2012 and make the necessary adjustments for 2013.