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On Gratitude

Luke at 9 weeks old in 2003.

Luke at 9 weeks old in 2003.

I recently lost my 14-year-old, yellow lab, Master Luke. After many days of tears and grief, I woke up this morning feeling soothed by a deep sense of love and gratitude.  My aching heart, my sadness, and my sense of loss are being gently transformed by my appreciation for the great gift I have received in having this incredible being of light and love in my life for so many years and through so much change.

Since gratitude is such an important and healing thread in all of our lives I thought to pay it forward a little by reminding us all of some simple ways that we can express our appreciation and gratitude to those who touch our lives.  There are many ways to say thanks and it is always nice to reach out to those who have touched us or made a difference.

Some simple ways to express gratitude include:

  • Bake some cookies or other special treat or buy some from a bakery and deliver them or have them delivered.
  • Send a handwritten card or thank you note via snail mail.
  • Brighten someone’s day by sending or delivering flowers or a nice plant.
  • Give a small but useful gift or gift card to someone as an expression of appreciation.
  • Make a donation to a charity in someone's name who has touched our life as a way of saying thanks.
  • Chocolate, specialty coffee, a nice tea, healthy treats that can be enjoyed are always appreciated!
  • Give them a shout out on social media and let others chime in as to how special they are as well.  

These might seem a bit old fashioned, but when was the last time you got a card in the mail or flowers delivered as an expression of appreciation? Life is precious and our connections to each other are a big part of that so why not reach out to say thanks now and then without using the strokes on the keyboard.  If you have a special way of expressing gratitude please share here by posting a comment.

Corporate Compliance

small-business
small-business

Whether you are operating as a Limited Liability Company or a Corporation in Colorado, it is important to keep your business in compliance with statutory requirements so that your personal assets are protected from any liability that your business might incur.   Here is a checklist that will help you gauge whether your business is in compliance and if not what you might need to address.  

  • Filing with secretary of state. Colorado requires that all companies file an annual report. If you are not sure about the status of your company go to the secretary of state’s website and make sure you are in compliance with this requirement. http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/businessHome.html
  • Operating agreement or bylaws. While Colorado does not require that an LLC have an operating agreement, the operating agreement is critical in terms of both company management and asset protection.   Colorado does require that all Corporations have written bylaws.
  • Company records. If your company is a corporation, Colorado requires that you keep the following items with your corporate records at your principal place of business:
  • The Articles of Incorporation and bylaws
  • Minutes from all director and shareholder meetings over the past three years
  • All written communications to shareholders over the past three years
  • A record of all actions taken by directors or shareholders without a meeting
  • A record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of a meeting
  • A record of all waivers of notices of meetings of the shareholders, directors or any committee of the board of directors
  • A record of the names and addresses of all shareholders, arranged alphabetically and by class of shares
  • A list of the names and business addresses of current directors and officers
  • A copy of the most recent annual report
  • All financial statements for the past three years
  • Separate bank account. Whether you are operating as an LLC or a corporation, you should keep a separate bank account for your entity and use it for all transactions. You should be able to document all moneys put into your entity in return for your ownership.
  • Acting on behalf of the company. Any interactions you have in the course of doing business with other commercial enterprises or individuals should be clearly on behalf of the company and not as yourself individually. For instance, if I give a speech on estate planning I give the speech as Tanya Shimer of Tanya R. Shimer LLC and not just as myself individually.
  • Written documents. Use letterhead on all of your correspondence and contracts.
  • Entity designation. Always include the entity designation (“Inc.,” “Limited,” “Ltd.,” “LLC”) whenever possible on business identifiers such as business cards, advertisements, signs, etc.
  • Your signature. Always sign documents in your representative capacity, and not as an individual:

YOUR ENTITY NAME

______________________________________________

by:  YOUR NAME, YOUR TITLE (Manager, President, Owner, etc.)

  • Titles of assets. Ensure that all assets that are owned by your company are titled in the name of your entity and not in your name personally.
  • Keeping money separate. Be careful to never commingle the funds or assets of your entity with your personal funds and assets.  If you need to fund the operations of your company with your personal assets, document the transfer as either a loan or a contribution to the capital of your entity.  If you need to use assets of the company for personal reasons, distribute the assets out of the company to yourself first as income, profit distributions, or a return of your capital contribution.
  • Annual meetings. Whether you are a corporation or an LLC, annual meetings are required  This is one of the first things a judge will look for in deciding whether to allow a creditor or other to go after your personal assets.
  • Corporate taxes and fees. Work with a professional to make sure that you are in compliance with all corporate taxes and fees and that your income tax returns are filed each year in compliance with both the IRS and the Colorado Department of Revenue.

While this checklist is not meant to be all inclusive its a good start and good self monitoring system for both you and your employees.  I certainly hope that it helps!  Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about your company and these guidelines.

TRS Law Blog

The purpose of this blog is to provide information to my clients and others about estate planning and small business law. I hope that the blogs posted here are informative and help people to understand their legal rights and responsibilities.  I am always happy to answer questions about any of the topics posted here, either by telephone or by email.  If you have a question about a topic related to the areas of my practice let me know.  Warm Regards,

Tanya