These questions are intended to evoke a conversational discussion about the practical workings of the company. They are essentially “starting points” to begin a dialogue which should help the company from a legal, managerial, and financial perspective.
1 What steps do you take to regularly review personnel, management, owners, and the business as a whole?
2 Do you really see your business as separate from yourself?
3 Do you have a 1-year, 3-year, and 10-year plan?
4 What reporting do you use to gauge the health of your company?
Formation / Entity Selection
5 Is the company a separate legal entity from you personally?
6 If an S Corporation, has the company filed its Form 2553?
7 If an LLC, is it taxed as a corporation or partnership?
8 If not yet a separate entity, have you considered the options of an LLC, S Corp, C Corp, or partnership?
9 Has your registered agent, your principal place of business, or your mailing address changed recently?
10 Has the company completed and executed resolutions for all major company activities?
11 Has the company held and documented annual meetings?
12 Do you have a corporate book? Stock shares?
13 Has the company considered adding additional branches?
14 Has the company considered splitting off any lines of business into new entities?
15 Have you recently updated your website?
16 Are you planning to update your website?
17 Is the company considering entering into any joint marketing or service agreements?
18 Are there any joint venture strategies that have been discussed?
19 Have you determined your marketing strategy?
20 Who is your ideal customer?
21 Are there any marketing strategies that you would implement today if you had the time/cash?
22 Are there any marketing strategies that are not effectively pointed at your target market?
23 How do you utilize social media marketing?
24 How long do you plan to work in the business?
25 What would happen if you died today?
26 Have you thought about who you would like to run the business after you stop working?
27 Who do you want to see as owner of the company after you sell your interest?
28 Do you have an estate plan set up for you individually?
29 Does the business have an organizational chart?
30 How many owners are there in the company?
31 Is there a stockholders agreement / operating agreement / partnership agreement?
32 Has the company redeemed any ownership interests?
33 Has any stockholder, member, or partner died recently?
34 How do you own your shares? (Individually, with your spouse, or through another entity)
35 How many employees are there at the company?
36 Do any of the employees have an employment agreement?
37 Are all of the employees “at-will” employees?
38 Do you have any restrictive covenants in place?
39 Is there any proprietary information that you wish to protect from current / future employees?
40 Are all employees performing their duties to a satisfactory level?
41 Have any employees recently been injured at work?
42 Are independent contractors really independent contractors?
43 Does the company have an employee handbook?
44 Have any officers or directors left the company?
45 Has any officer or director died recently?
46 Does the company own life insurance on key personnel?
47 Are all officers and directors performing their duties to a satisfactory level?
48 Have you been approached by creditors recently?
49 Have you had any debtor/creditor disputes lately?
50 Are any of your clients taking too long to pay?
51 What is the overall financial situation of the company?
52 How much cash does the company have on hand?
53 Has the company considered potential layoffs?
54 What sort of revenues / net income does the company forecast?
55 Does the company have a line of credit?
56 Does the company have a credit card?
57 What is the debt structure of the company? Is there a line of credit with the bank?
58 Has the company issued any promissory notes or accepted promissory notes from any person or entity?
59 Is there sufficient documentation of all promissory notes to and from the company?
60 Has the owner made any contributions to the business that it would rather classify as promissory notes?
61 Are the promissory notes secured by any collateral?
62 Do you have any reason to believe that a debtor will not be able to fulfill the terms of a promissory note?
63 Has the company purchased any property recently?
64 Do you have any building lease agreements in place?
65 How long ago was the lease updated and is the company making regular payments?
66 Do you have any fictitious names?
67 Have you registered your trademark? Do you understand the benefits of this?
68 Do you have your employees sign confidentiality agreements?
69 How are you protecting your trade secrets?
70 Do you have a patentable idea or process? Have you considered the benefits of filing?
71 Do you have copyrights and are they filed (recipes, software, written works)?
72 Does the company have a CPA?
73 Has the company made regular quarterly employment tax payments to the IRS?
74 Is the company considered a pass-through entity for tax purposes?
75 Has the company filed its annual tax return?
76 What sort of perks does the company pay for – travel, entertainment, vacations, etc.?
77 Has the company been audited recently by a tax authority? What were the results?
78 Are there any licensing agreements?
79 Does the company have any advertising contracts?
80 Has the company had any recent zoning or code enforcement issues?
81 Have you had any problems with competitors attempting to improperly disrupt your business?
82 Do you have any environmental concerns involving your business activities or the real property?
83 Has anyone acted on behalf of the company without the authority of the company?
84 Are you currently involved in any disputes with customers, creditors, competitors, etc.?
85 Does the company own any motor vehicles?