The start of a New Year is an ideal time for small business owners to assess their company and ensure it is set up for success in the year ahead. Savvy business owners seize this time of year to make sure legal and financial affairs are in order. Here, we pose six questions to get you thinking about protecting your business and planning for the future.

1.     Are state licenses and other records current?

Check to make sure that any necessary licenses are up-to-date and that your business is still in compliance with local and state laws. Confirm any necessary annual filings are complete and submitted on time.

2.     Is your business structured optimally?

Utilizing the appropriate type of business entity can help reduce personal liability and may minimize taxes. Work with a lawyer to determine if the business should be operating as an S corporation, C corporation, limited liability company or partnership.

3.     For existing corporations, did you hold mandatory annual meetings?

Nearly every state, including Illinois, requires corporations to hold an annual meeting among shareholders and regular meetings with the board of directors. While not required for other business entities, regular owner and management meetings should still be held and documented. It is important to stay ahead of these formalities to ensure compliance where applicable, and to help plan and make important decisions for the business.

4.     Was business conducted beyond Illinois?

If so, you may need to file taxes differently for 2022. You may also need to obtain a certificate of authority or submit other filings depending on local laws.

5.     Have you hired more employees?

Employment laws vary at the local, state and federal levels, so confirming you are compliant with each is critical.

6.     Have you connected with your trusted advisors?

Reaching out to lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents and vendors at this time of year can help you stay informed of new laws, tax changes and more.

As 2022 comes to an end and small business owners start to evaluate performance metrics from the past twelve months and set targets for the New Year, it is easy to overlook the operational tasks that need to be completed. Set yourself up for success by carving out the time to protect your business.

To learn more about Buckley Fine’s business law team, contact us at 847-381-0011 or email us at