Annual Tasks for Small Business Owners
The following is a list of questions which I hope you will consider. By no means is the list exhaustive. In fact, I have merely put together this form in the hopes that you will consider areas which may need improvement. If performed at least yearly, legal checkups can certainly save your business future expense and headache.
1. Review your contracts
a. These include sales agreements, purchase orders, leases, credit applications,
warehouse receipts, employment contracts, partnership agreements…
b. What do the contracts say about attorney’s fees if a dispute arises regarding the
c. Is there a vendor/customer who you do not have a written contract with?
d. Have any of your contracts expired?
e. Is there a late payment/fee provision in the contract?
f. Who are the signatories to the contracts? In what capacity did they sign (corporate
i. If you are a corporation, have you unwittingly personally guaranteed the
g. Do any of your contracts need revisions?
2. Review your corporate status
a. Is it time to incorporate?
b. If you are incorporated, are you using best practices to ensure that you will not be
c. Is it clear to everyone that you have limited liability?
3. Review your exit strategy
a. What would occur if you unexpectedly became incapacitated or passed away?
b. Do you have an agreement with partners or co-owners?
c. Do you have an appropriate level of disability or life insurance?
d. Who would inherit your business upon your death?
4. Review your procedure for accounts receivable and collection of debts
a. Do you have a billing system in place?b. Do you have a procedure you follow to collect?
c. Does your contract state that you can charge interest for late payments?
d. Do you have enough information on your customers if you ever have to collect?
5. Review your relationships with employees
a. Are your employees exposed to any confidential information of the company?
What would happen to that information if your employee left suddenly to work
for one of your competitors?
b. Do you have written guidelines and policies in place which your employees have
c. Do you have an ethics manual or code of conduct?
Give me a call if you would like to set up a time to discuss any of the questions posed above. If I have forgotten something, please pass it along!
Ryan C. Young
Small Business Law | Richmond, Virginia Attorney