In just five short days we will not only begin a new year, but a new decade, in 2020. If you are a small business owner, there are several tasks you might be looking to catch up as we approach the end of the year. I am providing a year-end checklist for your small business to help you tie up any loose ends before we start the new year.
1. Verify Information for Contractors
If you have any independent contractors for your small business, you will need to send them 1099 forms for tax purposes in early 2020. Now is the time to make sure you have their W9 form, and that you have the correct mailing address, social security or tax ID number, and financial information so that it will be easier for you or your tax professional to prepare the 1099 form.
2. Get Ready for Taxes
Every small business owner has to file taxes in the new year. Now is the time to gather your financial documents, and coordinate with your CPA or tax professional whatever you will need to file tax returns in 2020.
3. Hold Your Annual Meeting
If you haven't held your 2019 Annual Meeting yet, and your state, bylaws, or operating agreement require you to hold an annual meeting of your members, shareholders, or owners each year, now is the time to schedule and hold your 2019 Annual Meeting.
4. Prepare Your Budget
Now is the time to start thinking about your budget for 2020. What are your revenue projections for 2020? What expenses will you have next year? Do you have a business plan in place to achieve your goals?
5. Set Your 2020 Goals
Also, now is the time to set your 2020 goals for your small business. What do you hope to achieve in your small business in the new year? Goals provide a roadmap for your small business, and this is the time to set up your small business for success.
6. Check Your Status with the Oklahoma Secretary of State
Every year business entities filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State go inactive due to not renewing 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 Articles of Incorporation
While you're checking your status with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, this is also a good time to consider whether you need to amend your Articles of Organization, or Articles of Incorporation. If you've changed the name of your 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 in 2020. If your small business is not already taxed as an S corporation, you will have two and half months after the new year to make that election with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is a good time to discuss with your CPA or tax professional whether this election would be a good fit 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 will 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 the contract, you may need to provide advanced written notice to the other party prior to renewal.
10. Schedule Meetings
If you have an advisor, mentor, or coach 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 meetings with your CPA or tax professional to make sure your tax documents will be in order for the new year. Lastly, this is the time to schedule a meeting with your attorney for assistance with reviewing your contracts, amending your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation, and/or holding your Annual Meeting.
On behalf of Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year in 2020! Next week in the Freedom Friday blog, I will be starting a special series, especially for those of you who might wish to start a new business in the new year.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or if you have a small business and you are looking to grow, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website http://www.libertylegalok.com.