The start of the new year is the *perfect* time to get organized and make sure your foundation is setting you up for success, so you can work on making this year your best one yet for your online business.
Because we just know you’ve got some pretty incredible plans for the new year.
Take advantage of your new year motivation so you can put your best foot forward and make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes to your business’s legal foundation. Here are four simple steps you can add to your to-do list this month to make sure everything’s in tip top shape. 👇🏽
1. Determine Your Online Business Structure
First things first: you want to make sure you have your entity in place and in order. When we say entity, we’re talking about your business structure – whether that’s an LLC or a corporation.
If you’ve put off setting up your business structure in the past, do the right thing for your biz and put this on your January to-do list. If you’re operating without creating an entity, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable and unprotected 😳
Your online business may be smooth sailing right now, but if anything happens in the future, like say:
- Defaulting on a business loan
- Facing a lawsuit
- Having a client misinterpret your coaching as medical or financial advice
Not only will your business be liable, but you yourself will be too. Meaning all your personal assets are on the line. Eeeek!
Sleep better at night knowing you’ve taken the proper steps to set up your business structure in a way that minimizes liability and is built to scale.
Already have a corporation or an LLC? We love to see it 🙌🏽
Just make sure you take a few minutes this month to double-check that everything is in order and that your secretary of state’s office doesn’t need any additional filings or information from you. Do a quick look so that your organization continues to be in good standing.
2. Check on Your Online Business Finances & Accounting
Next up we’ve got everyone’s favorite…business bookkeeping and finances 🙃
For real though – even if you’re not a numbers gal, you’ve *got* to take the steps to make sure your finances are being handled properly. Make sure you take time to meet with your CPA, your accountant at the start of the year to ensure you’re setting aside the proper amounts for taxes, that you’re on schedule to make quarterly tax payments, and you’ve got everything in order so that tax time can be smooth sailing (instead of a frantic panic!).
Hiring a bookkeeper will be one of the best investments you make in your online business. It only costs a couple hundred bucks a month, but it will save you time and thousands of dollars in the long run.
Renew Your Commitment to Separation Between Personal & Business
The new year is also a fantastic time to recommit to your intention of maintaining separation between your business assets and personal ones.
This means having two separate bank accounts, one for business and one for personal. Don’t mix them up! Pay out business expenses strictly from your biz account, and personal expenses strictly from your personal one.
Similarly, any business revenue must go directly into your business account and not your personal account.
You may be thinking, “Ok, ok, I get it…but what’s the big deal with this anyway?”
The key thing to understand is this: while it’s important to register your online business as an LLC or corporation, that’s not the only thing you need to do in order to be granted protection. You actually have to operate as one.
If you treat your business and personal assets as one and the same, regardless of how you registered your business, the law is going to see them as one entity or shared assets. Meaning you’ll be left with zilch when it comes to personal liability protection 😳
Creating separation between you and your biz is a must when it comes to protecting your financial health, your legal health, and your mental health too! You operate your business, but you’re not your business, sis.
3. Review and Update Any Contracts
Your contracts set the foundation for your online business. A contract that leaves you unprotected could have a huge impact on your business 6 months from now, a year from now, or even heck, five years from now.
That’s why the new year is the best time to step it up and make sure contracts are 100% aligned with how you want to run your business going forward.
Whether it’s your:
- Website terms and conditions
- Client contracts
- Team member contracts
- Membership or online course agreements
We’ve got no more time for games, friend 🙅🏽♀️ It’s time to upgrade that Frankenstein’d contract you got off Google (shhh we won’t tell anyone) and get legally legit.
Review your contract language, review your boundaries, and make sure your intellectual property and everything you create for your business is protected.
We’re here to help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks this year. All of our lawyer-created, plug-and-play templates have everything you need to make sure you stay protected, so you grow and scale your business with confidence 💁🏽♀️
Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates! So you can upgrade your client contract while staying Profitable & Protected™✨
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.