Entrepreneur Empowered Is A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization That Educates People With Practical Business And Legal Strategies, So They Are Empowered To Make Decisions With More Confidence.
We have put together a comprehensive checklist that can be used to ensure your assets are protected, your risks are covered, and your business is registered in the proper manner. Read it, use it, and connect with us if you’d like a customized copy of it for your business.
Protect Your Assets
Use the checklist to think about the different assets and intellectual property you possess in your business and how you can protect it.
Another way to use this free checklist is to think about the potential risks that exist in your business and the most effective manner to mitigate them.
Another practical use for the business checklist below is to use it as a guideline or a roadmap to ensure you address all the areas that pertain to your business.
CHECKLIST RELATING TO THE BUSINESS NAME & TRADEMARKS
- TRADEMARK: Create a business name does not infringe someone else’s trademarks or existing business name
- INTERNET SEARCH: Conduct an in-depth internet search to ensure your proposed business name, product or service name is not already being used out there (or variations thereof)
- DOMAIN SEARCH: Search domain registration and name databases, like whois, namecheap.com, and even a thorough Google search for your potential name (or variations thereof)
- USPTO SEARCH: Search the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database to ensure your proposed business name has not been registered as a trademark by someone else.
- SoS SEARCH: Search the business name on the Secretary of State’s website in your particular state to ensure no one else is operating under that name already.
CHECKLIST RELATING TO BUSINESS AND/OR PROFESSIONAL LICENSES
- APPLY FOR BUSINESS LICENSE: Obtain a business license from your local county, city or municipality
- INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC LICENSES: Many industries are regulated and you are required to obtain a license prior to opening a business with your administrative body (Ex: mortgage agents, insurance, real estate, attorneys, cosmetology, electricians, etc.)
- SPECIAL BANK ACCOUNTS: Ensure you apply and open a special trust account if required to do so (Ex: Attorney trust accounts)
- SPECIAL REGISTRATIONS: Some professionals are required to obtain additional insurance or are required to register with additional regulatory agencies or decision-making bodies (ex: Patent Office, Court Houses, IRS, etc.
CHECKLIST OF DIFFERENT FILING AND REGULATORY DOCUMENTS
TIP: STAY ALERT TO DIFFERENT DEADLINES
- LEGAL ENTITY: Choose the type of business entity you want to open (Ex: Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLC, S-Corp, Etc.)
- FILE WITH SOS: File the appropriate documents with the Secretary of State in your state (Ex: Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, etc.)
- DBA NAME: If you would like to operate under a different name than your legally filed name, apply for a “Doing Business As” name from your local county clerk (Most courts have this service)
- PUBLICATION: If your state requires you to publish your DBA name, contact a newspaper and publish your name (Most newspaper companies offer this service)
- EIN NUMBER: Go to the IRS website and apply for an Employment Identification Number (Called the EIN)
- FILING DEADLINES: If you filed an S-Corp, you have up to 75 days to file Form 2553 (Make sure you schedule that into your calendar – you do not want to miss that deadline)
- BANK ACCOUNTS: Once you have the EIN and your business documents – open a business checking and savings account (Get in the habit of separating your business and personal accounts and monies as well)
- ONLINE PAYMENTS: Open a PayPal or Stripe and/or other online payment processing systems (You can also choose to convert your personal one into a business account)
- ORGANIZATIONAL AGREEMENTS: Setup your internal administrative and other necessary documents (Ex: Ownership, Equity splits, Investor or Partnership Documents, Client Contracts, Online Disclaimers, etc.) => Seek the help of an attorney, because these contracts have to be carefully crafted
- INTERNAL SETUP, STORAGE
ANDFILING: Keep all your business documents, registrations, and contracts safe – online, on your computer in a separate folder, and even a hard-copy (You are going to use these documents over and over again)
- REPORTING: Ensure you document all business expenses and activities on an annual basis (Ex: Purchases, equipment, new contractor agreements, capital investment
- TAX AND FILING REQUIREMENTS: Hire an accountant to help you
setupand comply with quarterly tax payments and give them a copy of your business file
- FILING REQUIREMENTS: Schedule and comply with state filing requirements
- FRANCHISE TAXES: Schedule and comply with local and state franchise taxes
- INSURANCE: Purchase business insurance for your business (industry specific)
CHECKLIST OF CONTRACTS AND DOCUMENTS YOU MAY NEED
Ensure you consult an attorney to ensure you capture special terms or
- CLIENT SERVICE AGREEMENTS – Draft the required Client Agreements for all the interactions and engagements with clients
- EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS – Draft the required Employee Agreements with your employees
- PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS – Draft the required Strategic Partnership and other documents with partners and third parties
- INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS – Draft the required Independent Contractor Agreements with all contractors and freelancers
- COMMERCIAL LEASES – Consult an attorney to review any commercial lease or rental agreements
- OTHER ENGAGEMENTS – Consult an attorney to review other contracts and agreements, including licensing agreements, revenue-sharing agreements, manufacturing agreements, distribution agreements, royalty deals, purchase and sale agreements, publishing, speaking or marketing agreements (To name a few)
- RISK MITIGATION – Ensure you protect your assets and also include risk mitigation strategies, dispute resolution strategies, mediation or arbitration, in order to avoid costly lawsuits and disputes
TAKE A SECOND TO CONNECT WITH US.
WE’D LOVE TO HELP YOU FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN ARM YOUR BUSINESS™ FROM ALL SIDES.
MEET OUR NONPROFIT’S STRATEGIC BOARD
AFTER WATCHING THOUSANDS OF BUSINESS OWNERS GO BANKRUPT AND END UP IN OUR OFFICES, WE DECIDED TO CREATE THIS CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS OWNERS, SO THEY CAN STAY FOCUSED AND ORGANIZED, AND AVOID SILLY MISTAKES, WHICH CAN HAVE HUGE CONESQUENCES.
– Peter Peddinti Strategic Board Member
Top Row: Peter Peddinti, Christian Martinez, Lauren Evanow, Pascal Ferrari.
Bottom Row: Ladi Saka, Anuja Khandelwal, Roger Berges, Sid Peddinti.