Many chess games are determined by a player’s opening moves. Like in business, decisions made early in the year can impact how your business grows, develops and mitigate risks. As a business owner, take time each year to review your business operations to discuss with your attorney any changes that have occurred within your business, new laws which may impact you and make any necessary adjustments. Below is a checklist of items which you should review and discuss with your attorney:

Business Renewal

Ensure that your LLC annual renewal has been filed so your business registration is active. This can be accomplished at no cost on the MN Secretary of State’s website if filed before December 31st of each year. Failing to renew your LLC will result in it being administratively terminated, but it can be renewed by paying a fee after the deadline date.

Business Operating Agreement/Records

Review and update your internal organizational and operating documents to reflect any changes to the business structure, ownership and any major decisions made during the fiscal year. This ensures your business entity and its owners continue to keep up with ‘corporate formalities’ to maintain its limited liability status. Also, Minnesota has a new LLC Act as of August 1, 2014, which has changed the how LLCs are structured, governed and managed. Updating your documents ensures that your internal governance and management structure of your business reflects the agreed upon arrangement of the owners and the current law.
For more information on Minnesota’s New LLC Act and Operating Agreements, please visit:

Buy/Sell Agreements

A Buy/Sell Agreement is a key business succession planning document that transitions an owner’s interest in the company in the event of a disability, death, divorce, voluntary departure or bankruptcy, and provides an ‘exit strategy’ for business owners thinking of retirement. Business valuations are often a highly litigated issue in shareholder disputes. A well drafted and updated buy/sell agreement can minimize disputes between owners in regards to valuations and other disagreements. For more information on Buy/Sell Agreements, please visit:


Prioritize important tax deadlines based on your company’s tax classifications and operations. For example, if your company is taxed as corporation or partnership, there are various deadlines to file such returns, or if you hire employees or independent contractors, W2s or 1099s need to be sent to them by certain dates, as well as due dates for payroll reports.


Keep track of important deadlines in contractual relationships and leases such as when they end, are there any notice requirements and what are your options upon termination like renewal or renegotiation.

Employer-Employee Relationships/Policies

Revisiting and reviewing your current employee handbook, company’s policies/procedures and employment agreements to ensure compliance with new and current state and federal laws is highly recommended. Having these in place can assist an employer in minimizing potential liability to litigation and be critical in defending lawsuits.

Estate Planning

Often one of the most overlooked documents by business owners are estate plans. For business owners, having an estate plan ensures a transfer of their most prized asset to their loved ones with ease and less uncertainty.
For more information on estate planning, wills and trusts, please visit: