Running Your Business Entity Management
After you set up your LLC, corporation, or other business structure, there are a handful of tasks you must conduct to stay compliant with statutory corporations code. The term for this is entity management.
Your business must tend to recurring maintenance and one-time filings to remain in “good standing” with the government. You must also abide by behaviors that keep your “corporate veil” from being pierced and exposing the owners to liability.
The risks of noncompliance are serious. Noncompliance can result in liens, penalties, and administrative dissolution of the business.
Entity Management Programs
ComplianceAdviser™ for New Business Owners
Our most popular program, ComplianceAdviser™ assumes that you have just started your business and are ready to start the journey of setting up your records and learning how to administer your entity. The program includes a 40-page e-Book written by Harbor’s Mike Montali and two hours of one-on-one coaching with the author.
- The first session is focused on the initial tasks to get your records, financial separation, and other aspects of your business set up.
- The second session reviews your compliance calendar worksheet to ensure you have a framework outlining the annual tasks that you will conduct to stay compliant.
ComplianceAudit™ for Established Business Owners
Discover if your business entity is in “good standing” with the state government(s). Your compliance specialist will guide you through the entire audit and help you establish an action plan for any areas of noncompliance or compliance risk.
- Learn if your business is compliant and has outstanding government liens or penalties.
- Discover common errors in your public records, such as an outdated registered agent.
- Discuss your attention to corporate records, financial separation, and other activities required to preserve your liability protections.
Top 5 Tasks in Entity Management
The “nuts and bolts” of entity management are as follows:
- Compliance with the Department of State
- Annual, Biennial, and/or Decennial Reports
- Renewals of Fictitious Names and Marks
- Current Registered Agent
- Required one-time filings of changes and disclosures about the entity
- Compliance with the Department of Revenue
- Renewal of state tax licenses or exemptions
- Failure to pay sales, employer, corporate, or other taxes can produce liens agains the business
- Maintenance of your business entity.
- Announce and hold required director and shareholder meetings
- Track meeting minutes, adoption and updates to by-laws, and other meeting resolutions
- Record stock transfers, keep shareholder's contact information, and provide required communications to shareholders
- Licenses / Zoning / Permits
- Obtain, renew as required, and abide by the expectations for licenses, permits, and zoning designations
- Remember to consider local county and municipal authorities
- Consider industry-specific requirements
- Routine behaviors to master
- Use appropriate signatures, receipts, and other written or verbal disclosures that indicates your business actions are on behalf of a business entity, not as an individual
- Keep records. Understand what documents should be created and how long they should be retained
- Never mingle personal and business funds
- Understand what expenses constitute business versus personal expenditures
- Establish and follow guidelines for how you pay yourself and your partners via salary and/or from profits. For example, an S Corporation has strict shareholder compensation requirements.
- Consistently follow your chosen bookkeeping method (cash or accrual)
Keeping your business compliant is a big deal. But doing the work to stay compliant shouldn’t be. Our most popular compliance program is ComplianceAdviser™.