10 Key Types of Business Documents Your Business Must Have

Written by on June 10, 2020 in Business with 0 Comments

When you're a budding business owner, it seems like there are always a hundred and one different things to do and keep track of. Creating a well designed website for your small business is an essential part according to latest trend and online competition. Failing to complete any one of these tasks could result in significant setbacks to your business.

Getting the right paperwork in order is one such task. If you want to ensure that your business's operations run smoothly, then it's incredibly important that you know the types of business documents that you'll need to have on hand.

In this article, we'll take a look at the principal types of business documents that you need to have on hand.

1. Business Plan 

The first document that your company needs is a business plan. This document is foundational to the successful operations of any company and should be drawn up before you even register the company.

Several different elements comprise a business plan. The first one to keep in mind is your mission statement. A mission statement succinctly states your business's purpose and how it provides value to customers.

The next thing that you'll need is a company description. This is where you get into the details of how your company accomplishes its mission by providing a certain product or service to its customers. 

Next up is the organizational structure. Are you running a solo business? Are there others involved? Make sure that all of your initial employees and leadership are detailed in an org chart. This will ensure that no one is confused regarding what the chain of command looks like at your company. 

Last but certainly not least, don't forget to do a market analysis. The market analysis section of your business plan should contain information regarding the size of your market, estimated penetration rate, and evaluations of all competitors.

2. Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is crucial for any company that has several owners. If you incorporated your business as an LLC with other partners, then you're going to have to set a legal precedent for how decisions will be made in your company.

What happens when two leaders in your company are at odds regarding what strategy they think should be taken with the firm? Who gets to make the final call?

Your operating agreement should answer tough questions like these so that when those important decisions come up, your business doesn't stall.

3. Employee W-4s

The W-4 form is one of the most important business documents. This is a document that employees submit regarding their employment status and any tax withholdings that should be deducted from their paycheck.

Make sure that you make filing the W-4 a part of your employee onboarding process. Otherwise, when you try to do payroll, you'll find yourself in a frenzy trying to get employee information together to make the necessary deductions.

4. Transaction Histories

Transaction history is a document that details what happens in every one of your business transactions. Think of it as a contract. It should describe the product or service required and the limitations of that scope.

It should also describe the price, how payment was made, and the like. If a customer ever raises a dispute about not receiving a quality product or service, you can point them to this document to show that you have fulfilled your end of the bargain.

5. Accounting Statements

The three principal accounting statements are key to a successful business. These documents include your income statement, balance statement, and cash flow statement.

The income statement is exactly what it sounds like. It details all of the expenses and revenues realized by your business in the given time period.

The balance statement shows the company's financial situation at a given point in time. It balances the company's assets and liabilities.

Last but not least, the cash flow statement describes how accounts receivable and accounts payable are operating. It gives you an idea of how cash is coming in and out of your business.

6. Security Protocols

If your business has a virtual component to it, then you must have strict cybersecurity protocols in place. For one, this document will reassure your customers that you will do everything it takes to keep their data safe.

For another, you may be required by law in certain countries to have these protocols in place. When you get audited, you can have this document as evidence of your adherence to regulations.

7. Employment Letters

Employment letters should stipulate a few things. First and foremost, it should detail the employee's compensation structure. But it should also include the employee's responsibilities so that you can point to hard evidence whenever an employee is failing to do their job correctly.

8. Privacy Policy

More and more countries are requiring that every website has a privacy policy so visitors know what is happening with their data. Make sure you have one too. 

Privacy policies don't have to be very difficult to draw up. You can use one of the many available online templates, or have an online service generate one for you.

9. Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are crucial in the virtual world that we live in. If you hold regular video conference meetings, the simple truth is that not everyone is always going to be able to attend.

By recording those meetings and transcribing the minutes, you can ensure that everyone involved is always able to stay abreast of what is going on at your company.

10. Pay Stubs

Last but not least, you need pay stubs to document how employees (and yourself) are paid at your business. Your pay stubs will back you in pay disputes with your employees.

paycheck stub maker can help you in creating and keeping your pay stubs in order.

Get These Types of Business Documents in Order

There you have it. Now that you know the various types of business documents that your company needs, there's no excuse for you not to keep track of the necessary paperwork.

For more business advice, you're in the right place! Be sure to check out the rest of the articles on the website before you leave!

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