Legal Issues

4 Legal Documents You Need to Review Before 2017

A simple review of your files now can avoid serious headaches next year.
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During the holiday season, things get a little chaotic for most business owners. You're trying to juggle work while spending time with family and friends. Legal documents are the last thing you want to think about during this time. I always tell my clients that the thing you don't want to think is often the very thing that needs your attention the most. In business, there will be things you have to do to avoid creating bigger problems. When you review the documents listed below you will get a better understanding of your legal obligations and finances.

Customer documents.

Now is the time to put your customer retention into overdrive. Review your customer documents to avoid an unexpected decrease in revenue. Make a list of the contracts that terminate within the last quarter of the year and the first month of the new year. Determine how much revenue you will lose when these agreements terminate and create a strategy to retain or replace those customers to avoid a decrease in revenue.

Vendor documents.

An increase in costs can keep you from meeting your revenue goals. You need to review your vendor documents to make sure you're ready for any increase in expenses. Contact your vendors and negotiate better rates for your business. You should also contact the competitors for your vendors and negotiate with them as well.

Employee and contractor documents.

The agreement you entered into with your employees and contractors may not be valid under new employment laws. Review your employment and contractor agreements to avoid fines and lawsuits. Additionally, negotiate agreements for employees and contractors that terminate within the next 12 weeks. If you're expecting an increase in orders or new customers, you need to make sure you have enough help to get the job done.

Related Book: The Tax and Legal Playbook: Game-Changing Solutions to Your Small-Business Questions by Mark J. Kohler

Business documents.

If your business documents are not accurate, you can end up losing legal protection for your personal assets. It's important that you renew, register and pay for your licenses, permits and regulatory documents on time.  If you want to avoid fines, long lines, and significant stress don't let these documents expire. Trying to handle these types of legal documents can be a hassle during the holiday season because government agencies work fewer hours during this time of the year.

By reviewing these four documents, you will have a better idea about your legal obligations, cash flow, and expenses before there is an issue. Having this information will help you avoid major surprises and allow you to prepare your business properly.