Now is a great time to make sure you’ve got the right legal paperwork in place to protect your website before the holiday season begins. Here are five important tasks you can take care of fairly quickly.
1. Entity Check.
Make sure your business entity is in good standing in the state where you formed it. You’d be surprised at how many Internet business owners have to clean up a mess after the fact when their corporation or limited liability company disappears because of a missed report filing deadline or a late corporate franchise tax payment.
2. Services Contracts Check.
If you’ve got anyone that’s providing services to your Internet business as an independent contractor, conbusiness you’ve got written agreements in place that make this relationship clear. This reduces your risk of getting hit with unemployment or workers compensation claims by a services provider claiming to be an employee.
In addition, be sure to get your independent contractor’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This makes it easier to deduct payments you make to the service provider as a business expense.
3. Ownership/Management Check.
Have there been any changes in who owns (or how much they own) or runs parts of your Internet business? If so, have you documented these changes in writing? Memories fade and that leads to lawsuits.
4. Major Events Check.
Have you made large purchases for your company (e.g. computers, tablets, company vehicle, healthcare etc.) that you’d like to deduct as legitimate business expenses? Did you loan your company money or make a capital contribution? If so, have you put the legal paperwork in place to document what happened? What would you say during an IRS audit if asked to produce supporting documentation for the transactions?
5. Website Docs Check.
For the typical Internet company owner, each of these takes 30 minutes or less to identify what needs to be done. You can then decide whether to try to do the work yourself or retain a qualified professional to help protect your website for you (e.g. Internet business lawyer, accountant, etc.).