Organizing and managing a successful business is undoubtedly a cumbersome process. According to an SBA survey, about one third of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open. In fact, a weak business model and poor marketing are considered to be among the top 10 causes of small business failure.
Document management plays an essential role in supporting your business and protecting its interests. If poorly organized, it may cause a wide range of problems and become an ultimate business idea killer.
Below is our pick of the most important business documents that simply cannot be ignored:
1. Incorporation documents
These documents give evidence of your business’s formation as a legal entity. They include your business’s articles of incorporation, articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreement or partnership agreement depending on your legal structure, such as a corporation, limited liability company or partnership.
Provide your customers with fast, error-free contract delivery. This provides the foundation for long-term, beneficial relationships. Instead of spending weeks on one contract, you’ll be able to close deals in days—if not hours.
3. Business plan
This document is your business’s roadmap, detailing how it will achieve its sales and financial goals. When building a business, it is important to carefully plan and consider every factor that can impact its future.
4. Profit and Loss Statement
A monthly Profit and Loss Statement is a document, which is filled out by a business owner wishing to furnish the interested party with a monthly financial profit and loss report. The statement summarizes revenues, costs, and expenses the company had during a one month period.
Negotiating and contract signing is now behind you. It’s time to get paid. Invoices are your last step before closing the deal. You can easily avoid mistakes by using any given invoice template.
Employment-related documents help you speed up the hiring process, spare your office space from heaps of paperwork and make sure that no document is ever lost or damaged:
6. Job Application Form
New employees are required to fill out a job application form, even if they have already submitted a resume for the job. Having an application form protects your business against any fraudulent claims. It also allows you to take appropriate action if the application form contains falsified information.
7. Employee Handbook
An employee handbook comprises work process descriptions and benefits. If your business has several employees, you should provide a copy of the employee handbook to each new employee.
8. Employee Performance Review
The employee performance review is used by managers and team leaders to make a scheduled review of a worker. This form is used for improving communication with the worker and solving all questions concerning the job duties. Additionally, it’s helpful for reviewing his or her skills.
All businesses are required to prepare financial statements and tax filings as well as to keep corporate and individual tax records. The most notable of them are:
9. Form W-4
The Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate is used by employers to withhold a certain amount of federal tax from an employee paycheck. In this form, you should point out how many allowances you plan to claim. At the end of the tax year, the withheld funds will be released to the IRS. Then, depending on your individual IRS tax return information, you will either receive a refund or have the opportunity to finalize any outstanding balances.
10. Form I-9
Individuals and individual business owners are legally required to verify the employment eligibility of their employees; this will assist in making certain that everyone is treated fairly, respectfully, and in accordance with the law. To do so, they need the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. It must be completed by the employer to verify the identification of each hired employee.
A proper document management organization is a key element of every business’s success. It helps you grow and focus on core needs instead of spending hours on mindless and repetitive tasks.
Today, any agreement, contract or form, including those mentioned above, can be filled out, signed and submitted electronically. Become a successful entrepreneur and keep your finger on the pulse of your company at all times.