Strategic And Collaborative Business Law Counsel

New Year’s Resolutions for Companies

| Jan 10, 2015 | Firm News |

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions (many of which will be broken by the end of January). Go to the gym, start a diet, watch less TV…generally people are trying to be better than they were the year before. The same should hold true for entrepreneurs and companies. January is a good time to take stock of the year that was and plan for the year beginning. Here’s a brief checklist of some resolutions company management should make and stick to throughout the year!

  • Tax considerations: At the forefront of annual planning comes tax preparation. Now is the time to gather your financial reports and make important projections regarding revenue, assets and deductions. Gathering a good estimate now will help you avoid overpayments or underpayments in 2015.
  • Trademark renewals: Just because your trademark went live when you started your business, it doesn’t mean it will stay active indefinitely without intentional filings. You may need to file post-registration paperwork, along with paying a renewal fee, to clarify that your trademark is still considered active. January is an optimal time to ensure your trademark will remain fully active for the coming year.
  • Employee contracts: Many employees work under contract, and it’s imperative to review those contracts annually. For those coming up for renewal in 2015, do you plan on renewing these contracts? If so, negotiations will likely follow, so it’s important to begin to plan that process now. If you plan to cancel a contract, you will want to prepare now by determining appropriate notice periods, entitlements and more.
  • Expiring or renewing leases: Likewise, lease or lease options may be coming up for renewal or exercise. It is essential to review these documents and consider renewals or terminations. Like employee contracts, renewals will require negotiation prep work, while looming lease terminations will require extensive planning regarding payments and notices.
  • Contracts – Review, cancel and or re-new? It’s a good idea to have a contract file where you keep all contracts in one place. Be sure to calendar any important dates (such as renewals or terminations).
  • URL renewals: Especially for small business owners, real estate on the Internet can quickly become an afterthought. However, should you be unaware that your URL is expiring in the coming year, that address can become fair game to anyone. Losing such a critical part of your company’s brand could be disastrous for business, so be sure to check to ensure your URL is safe for 2015. If it’s up for renewal, make plans accordingly.
  • Annual requirements: Depending on your business structure, your company may be required to file annual reports with the secretary of state’s office or conduct annual meetings for shareholders. Understand your legal requirements so that your company remains in good standing, and don’t wait till the last minute to fulfill these critical duties.
  • Website policies: Your website must have “Terms of Use” and “Privacy Policy” provisions visible to inform its users of your company’s security measures and liabilities regarding data use and protections. But the language in these policies can easily become outdated and no longer reflect reasonable security measures or how your company is using data. Reduce your vulnerability by revisiting these policies now — and at the end of every year — to keep the language up-to-date and consistent with industry standards.