What Your Startup Needs to Do to Stay Compliant in the New Year

With 2018 right around the corner, as businesses wind down Q4 by conducting the year-in-reviews, they’re also gearing up their to-do lists in order to maintain compliance in the New Year. Whether you just started up a small business this year or are a seasoned entrepreneur, here’s what you need to check off of your to-do list to remain compliant.

  1. Hold an annual corporate meeting

Entrepreneurs tend to be at their most refreshed at the beginning of the year, making it the perfect time to hold a corporate meeting where you can organize your records. Use this time to update minutes and bylaws with changes in the year and log discussion on documents in your corporate minute book.

  1. File your annual report

Make sure your business remains in good standing and does not get penalized by filing your annual report. These reports are typically filed with the Department of State and include your business’ up-to-date information such as your present address, if there have been any changes or renewals made with your registered agent and the list of your officers and directors.

  1. Paying taxes and organizing tax records

At the start of the year, as well as a bit before the year begins, your accounting documents should all be in order and updated, including your expenses and payroll. If you have any employees, be sure to postmark their tax paperwork by January 31st. You may also need to pay franchise taxes depending on which states have laws on annual franchise taxes, so be sure to check with your state to see if this applies to your business and make the payment, if necessary.

  1. Did you hire any new employees?

If you hired any new team members in 2017, update your IRS filings and employment insurance and make sure they also receive their tax paperwork. Before the New Year begins, review your existing benefits plans with your team, especially during the open enrollment period to ensure that anyone who needs to change their address, switch out health, dental, or vision plans, or sign up is able to do so.

  1. Register for a DBA and update your business licenses

A DBA, or doing business as name, allows your business to conduct business and receive a payment under a name different from your legal name. If you haven’t registered for one yet, but are currently doing business under a name different from that of your business, file for a DBA. Check in with your state to see if a DBA renewal is necessary, too.

Additionally, if you have a business license (which is highly likely as most states make this a requirement) check into whether it’s time to renew your license and pay the annual fee associated with it to avoid falling out of compliance.

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  1. Did your business close down this year?

If so, you will need to file a dissolution to formally close the business with the state. By filing articles of dissolution, you are terminating the existence of the business with the state. If you don’t do this, the LLC or corporation is still considered an active entity with specific obligations and fees that the owners must keep paying.

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