While fiscal years for businesses vary, every new year is a great way to start anew – evaluate performance, reassess goals, plan strategies to further grow and improve. While it’s ideal to hit the year running, make sure nothing falls through the cracks. We have come up with a checklist to ensure your business starts the year on the right foot:
Starting the New Year Right for Business Owners
√ Know Your Yearly Deadlines
During your annual business planning, make sure to take note of renewal dates and tax deadlines you need to meet. This will allow you to prepare ahead of time, have a chance to review what you submit and ensure you don’t have to pay penalties for delayed payments or submissions. Double check compliance information on government websites or consult with your company accountant. Be sure to check the guidelines for 2015 as there might be some changes to requirements and procedures.
√ Do You Plan to Change Your Business Name or Start a New Business?
If you plan to make a business name change, make sure that all your paperwork will reflect the change. Start with the DTI to register your business name legally. Check if your planned business name is already taken. Business name changes require more paperwork so make sure you decide on something that can grow with your business goals and forecast. Check out some tips on how to decide on a business name.
√ Make Sure You Have the Right Business Permits
Each year, as your business grows or takes on a new direction, review what permits are needed so that you won’t encounter any problems in the future. Depending on what business you run, what type of ownership your business is under (corporation, partnership or single proprietorship) and where your business operations are located, you will need different business licenses or permits. Check with your municipal city hall and consult with your lawyer and accountant.
√ Register Your Employees with the Corresponding Government Agencies
As you update your books at the end of the year, you will need to update your employees’ contributions to various government agencies too. Have you taken in new employees? Make sure to register your employees to the following agencies: SSS, NHIP and HDMF. If you have employees no longer working for your company, update their status on your records as well.
√ Update Your Financial Books
Do you owe taxes? It’s a good idea to check if you have back taxes as this won’t go away. If you find out you have not paid the correct amount, consult with your accountant and lawyer how to go on about talking with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on settling the amount – if they can offer you a reduced penalty or a payment plan.
To prevent this from happening again, make sure you compute for the correct taxes. If you are freelancer, you can find a guide how to pay taxes here. For online shop owners, you still need to pay taxes for your online businesses.
You might also have overlooked tax deductions you are entitled to. Have your accountant check tax deductibles and have your books updated.
Has Your Business Stopped Operating?
Even if your business is non-operational or has no income for the past few months, you need to still file income tax returns. Read this for more information.
If you want to officially close your business, there are legal ways to terminate or dissolve it. You need to terminate your business with official articles (legal paperwork) to no longer be held liable for filing tax returns or keeping licenses updated.
Go over this checklist and make sure you have them checked. This way you can have a smooth-sailing 2015 ahead of you.