Where are your important documents when you need them?
One good rule of business (and life) is to expect the unexpected. Through the normal life of a company, there will be times when you must have important documents close at hand due to something unexpected.
It could be unwelcome news: a legal complaint might be filed against the business, the IRS may select you for an audit, or a landlord may state you are violating terms of your lease. Welcome opportunities, too, can pop up unexpectedly: an insurance company may offer you coverage that saves you money, a great prospective employee might decide to come aboard, or you might discover your business is ready for additional growth capital.
These are all events that send business owners on a nervous hunt for their “important documents.” Which documents should be earmarked as important? Which need to be reviewed annually, and which should be reviewed with the guidance of an attorney
Being a well-prepared business owner means having answers to these questions ahead of time. Not having to spend time hunting or wondering how to access and share necessary documents allows you to deal with both speed bumps and unexpected opportunities in a smooth and timely manner.a
GPS: Legal: What’s in your file?
A file that holds a business’s legal and organizational documents, along with other important paperwork, is sometimes called a “data room.” These days, however, keeping these items at your fingertips doesn’t necessarily mean keeping a physical binder in a physical room. These documents might be formatted digitally to allow for fast, flexible accessibility whenever you need it.
What sorts of documents belong in your data room? These might include:
- Bank contracts and loan documents
- Business licenses and permits
- Business organization documents
- Credit card paperwork
- Employment contracts
- Insurance paperwork
- Payroll records
- Rental or purchase contracts for large pieces of equipment
- Sales agreements
- Small Business Administration (SBA) grants
- Statements of work
- Tax returns
- Vendor contracts
Keeping these items current and valid ensures you can access them and act whenever necessary. Facing any one of The 5D’s— Disagreement, Divorce, Disability, Distress, or Death — will require the immediate review of organizational documents in order to determine options. The extra D, “Don’t Want to Do It Anymore,” might not present as urgent a problem, but will still require a look at the important documents to determine how best to proceed.
Maintaining a business’s important documents should be a prominent part of standard operating procedures. These documents should be reviewed on a regular basis so renewals are obtained on time and old documents are archived.
Moving physical documents to an online platform can be accomplished using any of the readily available vendors such as Dropbox, Box, ShareFile, Share Sync, Google Drive, One Drive and many others. Naturally, there are pros and cons to each, and finding the right fit for your business will mean weighing the features, security, and pricing.
We are happy to announce an addition to the family here at Eagle Corporate Advisors. Brian and his wife, Maggie, welcomed a new baby boy, Bryce, on Aug. 7. Bryce weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and both he and Maggie are doing well.
The joy of a new baby, like all family milestones, is a reminder of why we do what we do. A business does not exist for its own sake; it is a vehicle to provide income and stability for your family and give back to your larger community.
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
This is a motto we brought up at our recent presentation on Aug. 9 for the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisition Advisors. It was a pleasure to speak with this group of professionals and business owners on the topic of “Time Kills Deals — Always Be Ready.” In our short discussion, we covered the timeline of transactions, steps involved in preparing for a future deal, and ways to begin preparing now to avoid poor performance later.
Thank you to those who attended and reached out to us afterward to request slides or more information. If you would like to inquire about this topic or see if Eagle Corporate Advisors can offer your group a presentation, we are happy to have a conversation.
Eagle Corporate Advisors works with business owners, like you, to help increase the bottom line, raise the value of your business, and fortify your business interests, so you can take advantage of any market circumstances and face any unexpected challenges. Many business owners can feel isolated or insecure as they navigate uncharted territory. We are available to help at any step of the way, bringing our knowledge and experience to help you move forward.