There are lots of documents that you may encounter throughout the life of your business. Those documents include service contracts, purchase agreements, partnership and company agreements, leases, employee contracts, policies and procedures, and more. Different business owners encounter different documents depending on their size, industry, and structure. However, the documents discussed below are documents every business owner should be familiar with. As you read our blogs in this Small Business Series, please understand that the information we will be providing is for your informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Every business and entrepreneur’s circumstances are unique. Please consult an attorney and accountant regarding your business’s specific issues and questions.

Corporate Documents

A business’s corporate documents consist of their formation documents plus the documents below. The corporate documents include those documents that are important to the governance and management of a business.

Partnership/Formation/Shareholder Agreement/Bylaws – These agreements are made by the owners or shareholders of a company. The agreements provide for how a company will be managed, who gets to vote on different matters, and how the company’s profits get distributed, among other things. These agreements essentially establish the rules the owners of the company will operate under.

Membership Register and Stock/Membership Unit Certificates – A membership register is a list of all the owners of a company. It shows how much of the company each owner owns and what contributions they have made. An owner’s ownership in a company can also be evidenced on a stock certificate. Though not all companies have to issue stock certificates.

 Related Topics

Business Formation


Company Agreements

 Related Blogs

Small Business Startup 101: Choosing a Business Entity

Small Business Startup 101: Tax Treatment

Small Business Startup 101: What Documents Does My Business Need – Part 1

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