End of Year Checklist for Small Businesses

Halloween has come and gone and the busy holiday season will soon be upon us.  But if you are a small business owner there are some things you need to consider as the end of the year approaches.  Allison & Mosby-Scott has put together this year-end checklist to help your business close out the year.  Of course, Allison & Mosby-Scott wants to help your business succeed.  If you want to find out more about our business practice or are in the need of legal assistance for your business, please visit our web-site or call us at 309-662-5084.

Things to do before December 31

  1. Review your Profit & Loss report
    • If you have a larger than expected profit, are there any major purchases or expenses you should make now that can be depreciated or deducted this year?
    • Meet with your accountant or lawyer to prepare for taxes.  Start gathering documents for taxes.
    • Review your estimated tax payments.
    • Think about year-end bonuses.  Will you pay these this year or wait until next year?
  2. Review all outstanding loans
    • Verify loan balances
    • Consider paying off loans
    • What will be your credit needs next year?
  3. Make sure you are ready to send out 1099s
    • Is the information setup properly in your accounting system?
    • If you don’t have proper information from each vendor or contractor, get it now.
    • 1099s are due to recipients January 31, except if you paid out any substitute payments in lieu of dividends (box 8) or any proceeds to an attorney (box 14), you have until February 15.
    • Due to the IRS by February 28 or March 31 if you e-file.
  4. Review your businesses’ employee and fringe benefits
    • Are they still appropriate and meet the business need?
    • Are changes needed to stay competitive?
    • Are they been reported accurately on employee’s W-2s.  Examples include life and health insurance, transportation subsidies, company vehicles, moving expense reimbursements, educational reimbursement programs, and employee loans you’ve forgiven.
  5. Take a physical inventory of your products and make adjustments in your accounting system as necessary.
  6. Plan for Next Year
    • Did you set goals with your employees at the beginning of the year?  Have you reviewed those goals?
    • Have you set goals/plans for next year?
    • Perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis
    • Create a budget for next year.
  7. Communicate with Employees
    • Write a list of all the company’s major accomplishments for the year and share them with your staff.
    • Plan year-end celebration.
    • Share your vision of the future.
  8. Update your web-site and social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.).
  9. Review your marketing plan for next year.
  10. Hold Your Annual Meeting/Review your business structure.
    • Your state, your bylaws, or your operating agreement may require that you have an annual meeting of the members or shareholders or owners.
    • Check your status with the Secretary of State and make sure your business is still in good standing.
    • Make sure you file an annual report for your corporation/LLC.
    • File an “Articles of Amendment” to record any company changes.
      • Amend your Articles of Incorporate or Organization if needed.
      • If your business name has changed.
      • If your primary business location has moved.
      • You changed your registered agent.
      • Officers or board members changed.
      • Authorized more share.
    • Consider a LLC or S Corporation or other business structure.
    • Close any inactive businesses
      • File an “Articles of Dissolution” with the Secretary of State if a company or LLC.
      • Settle any taxes.
      • Close web-pages and social media accounts.
  11. Review Your Contracts.
    • Are any expiring or expired?
    • Can you renegotiate them?
    • Do you need to give advance notice of cancellation before a contract automatically renews?