Well, today is New Year's Eve, and tomorrow we will begin another new year, 2021. 2020 has been a very challenging year for many small business owners, and really just all of us. I want to wish each of you a happy new year and a better 2021.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to appear on “Me, Myself, and Liberty” with Leslie NesSmith, which is a weekly interview show on Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite every Wednesday night at 7pm (it's broadcasted on Facebook and their YouTube channel). One of the things we discussed was year end planning for small business owners. If you're planning for your small business to continue and thrive in the new year, you really need to start your year end planning, and plan for the new year. In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to provide you a year-end checklist to help you plan for the new year. Here are 10 tips to help you get the new year started on the right foot:
1. Verify Information for Contractors
If your small business has independent contractors, you will need to send them 1099 forms for tax purposes. Now is the time to make sure you have their W9 form, and you have the correct mailing address, social security or tax ID number, and financial information so that you or your tax professional to prepare the 1099 form.
2. Get Ready for Taxes
Every small business owner will need to file taxes in the new year. Now is the time to review your books, gather your financial documents, and coordinate with your CPA or tax professional whatever you will need to file tax returns in the new year.
3. Hold Your Annual Meeting
If you haven't held your Annual Meeting yet, and your state, bylaws, or operating agreement require you to hold an Annual Meeting of your members, shareholders, or owners, you need to schedule and hold your annual meeting as soon as possible.
4. Prepare Your Budget
Now is the time to prepare your budget for the new year if you haven't done so already. What are your revenue projections for 2021? What expenses will you have next year?
5. Set Your Goals for 2021
Also, now is the time to plan your goals for 2021. What do you hope to achieve in your small business in 2021? Do you have a business plan in place to achieve your goals?
6. Check Your Status with the Oklahoma Secretary of State
Every year business entities filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State go inactive because they don't renew their annual certificate, which is required to stay in good standing. Now is the time to verify you're still in good standing, and if you aren't in good standing, pay the minimal fee and get reinstated.
7. Amend Your Articles of Organization or Certificate of Incorporation
While you're checking your status with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, it's also a good idea to consider if you need to amend your Articles of Organization (for an LLC), or Certificate of Incorporation (for a corporation). If you've changed the name of your small business, your primary business location has moved, or you've changed your registered service agent, now is the time to update this information with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
8. Consider S Corporation Status
Now is the time to consider how your small business will be treated for tax purposes for 2021. If your small business is not already taxed as an S corporation, you will have two and a half months after the new year to make that election with the IRS. This is a good time to discuss with your CPA or tax professional whether this election would make sense for your small business.
9. Review Contracts
If you have a third-party contract, now is the time for you to review that contract to see if it has already expired or expire soon. You might need to consider whether to renegotiate terms of the contract, and you should also check if the contract will automatically renew. If you wish to cancel it, you may need to provide advanced written notice to the other party.
10. Schedule Meetings
If you have a business coach or mentor for your small business, now is the time to schedule a meeting with them to make sure you start the new year on the right foot. At the same time, you should schedule a meeting with your CPA or tax professional to make sure your tax documents will be in order for the new year. Lastly, this is a good time to schedule a meeting with your attorney for help with reviewing your contracts, amending your operating agreement, amending your Articles of Organization, or making any other legal changes with your small business.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or you are interested in restructuring your small business, please contact me at [email protected] to schedule a FREE strategy session.
For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at http://www.libertylegalok.com/