If you’re thinking about incorporating a business, or have recently done so, you might assume that all the work is up front with the actual filing. That’s not the case. There are still several documents you’re required by law to create and update. And even if you’re not a corporation, there are still legal documents you might need for your business. Let’s take a look.
For corporations of any size, bylaws tell how that company will govern itself. Consider them your company’s rules. They may include:
- The number of directors that will sit on the board
- Range and power of the directors
- Date, time and location for annual meetings of the board
- How the directors are elected or removed
- How corporate officers are appointed
- Officers duties and powers
- Date time and location of annual shareholders meetings
- Voting rules for both directors and shareholders
In most states, you are required to submit your bylaws when you first apply as a corporation.
2. Minutes of Meetings
Another formal document required for corporations are minutes. Because corporations are required to have a Board of Directors, they’re also required to have at least one Board meeting a year. The minutes are the record of that meeting. If you have additional Board meetings, you’re also required to record minutes. They should include:
- Type of meeting and logistics – time and place
- Called by notice or waived
- Attendance and person keeping the minutes and who chaired
- All actions taken, such as purchases, elections etc.
- Signature of recorder and date
If you do business internationally, you may need an apostille. It’s an additional authentication or certification needed for international trade. You apply for it when you apply for your corporation status.
4. Operating Agreement
If you’ve filed as an LLC, you’ll need an operating agreement, which states the rights and obligations of the members, as well as the distribution of income of your LLC. While you might not be required to submit an operating agreement to form your LLC, you do need it kept at your office to remain compliant with corporate formalities. All members must sign the operating agreement in order for the operating agreement to be effective and valid.
5. Non-Disclosure Agreement
This document isn’t a requirement of either corporations or LLCs but if you have certain trade secrets you don’t want leaked, you might consider drawing up a non-disclosure agreement for anyone who interacts with your company and gets access to those secrets to sign. Essentially, this legal document requires anyone who signs an NDA to retain confidentiality with regards to your company secrets. If they do not comply, you can take legal action.
There are other legal documents you may need as well. Many of these you can file yourself, or, if you want to remove the hassle, have our team help you. And don’t forget, we’ve also got great legal advice available to you starting at just $21.58. Our professional team of lawyers can review your legal documents to ensure they’re compliant with state and national requirements.