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5 Things you are Doing Right in your Business

Starting or running a business is hard. But you've got this! Here are five things you are doing right that should increase the odds that your enterprise will be strong and successful:

1. Your corporation holds annual meetings of shareholders and directors. One of the differences between corporations and limited liability companies is that corporations are required by statute to hold an annual meeting of shareholders and an annual meeting of directors.

Generally in the shareholder's meetings, there is a general discussion of the condition of the company, directors are elected, acts of directors throughout the year are ratified (if needed) and any other matters placed on the agenda by a director or officer are discussed.

In the directors' meeting, there is a general discussion of the condition of the company, officers are elected, acts of officers throughout the year are ratified (if needed) and any other matters placed on the agenda by a director or officer are discussed.

These meeting minutes are not filed anywhere publicly (such as with the Secretary of State) and should be kept in the minute book of the corporation. While limited liability companies are not required by statute to have annual meetings, check your operating agreement to determine whether that document states your LLC will conduct an annual meeting of members or managers.

2. Your business files its annual report every year with the Secretary of State. Every company that is registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State is required to file an annual report each year. Corporations generally have to on or before March 15th. LLCs usually have to file by April 15th. In these reports, an officer of the company confirms the registered agent, registered mailing address, principal place of business, and company officials. You are never required to publicly file the owners of a company. Failure to file these reports could lead to the company being administratively dissolved by the North Carolina Secretary of State.

3. You have a good form contract. A proper business contract will identify the risks particular to your business and business model, and protect you. If you sell products, you don’t want a services agreement, and vice-versa. The contract you repurposed from a client may protect your customers to your disadvantage. Ditto for the repurposed contract from a vendor.

4. You have appropriate commercial insurance. I advise clients that commercial insurance is one of the most economical methods of protecting your small business. A good commercial insurance agent will help you figure out where your risks are and how to manage them with insurance. Generally, I advise looking into general commercial liability insurance (CGL), property hazard insurance, workers comp (if applicable), auto (if applicable), employment liability ((if applicable), and errors and omissions/malpractice (if applicable). Everyone should consider umbrella insurance.

5. You have website terms and conditions. Just like you have a good contract that allocates risk between you and your customers, you have thoughtful policies governing your website. Online terms and conditions should accurately describe what will happen on your website and how people should behave on your website/social media site. Policies may include prohibiting users from posting inappropriate content, warning users what content is from third parties, limiting the company's liability for harm to users resulting from website or web page use, and reserving the rights necessary to maintain website or web page security.


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