If you’re just starting to develop your business, chances are you have many questions and concerns regarding where to start. Once you have your idea developed and even a product or service in the works, then you may want to start thinking about your business’s formation documents. Formation documents are what enable your business to become a separate entity. Once all documents are gathered, they are taken to the state government and filed with the appropriate office. While most states have different incorporation requirements, below are the standard documents that you can still expect to prepare.
Formation documents include forms such as the certificate of formation and the operating agreement, if it is an LLC. If your business is a corporation, then your formation documents include Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. It is important to keep in mind that your state may refer to these documents by different names, so you’ll need to do your due research to reach a conclusion. When completing these documents, take the time to fill them out correctly and if needed, you can certainly look at online samples showing how others have done it.
The next type of documents you need to think about are the key contracts. Key contracts include contracts that are relevant and useful to investors, accountants, employees, and partners. By having key contracts in place, you can improve the clarity and function of your business and improve the chance that everything flows smoothly.
Tax documents are another concern for companies. Your tax documents should include your application for an EIN, subchapter S form if applicable, correspondence with tax authorities, and any tax returns that your business may have. By keeping all of your tax documents organized in one location, you can save yourself time and energy when it comes to putting things together during tax season.
Unlike your operating agreement, key contracts, and tax documents, your employee contracts relate to specific individuals within your company. These documents should include contracts, confidentiality agreements, any benefit packages, and the like. It is also important to make copies of employee information, but to also store the original in a safe file. Out of any employee document, the most important are the confidentiality agreement and the employment contract. Therefore, when getting employee documents together, those are the first two you want to focus on.
Once you have all of your documents set up, don’t forget to regularly update them to ensure that everything is kept in the right place.