The Corporate Documents tool in AfterIncorporation is an organizational roadmap for your company. Here, you can post your most important corporate records in a way that is consistent with the structure in which your LLC or corporation operates.
This tool is more than a simple online storage room. It is your roadmap to making sure that your LLC or corporation has the documents required to operate properly from a corporate law perspective. As we have said before, it is easy to register an LLC or corporation by filing the public formation documents. What is harder is being sure you have all the LLC documents and corporate documents you need. Without the right agreements and records in place, it may not be clear who has what rights in your LLC or corporation and who is authorized to act on behalf of the company.
Another purpose to having your company's key documents posted to the tool in After Incorporation is to make them available to the people who need access to them. The alternatives of breaking out a dusty record book or looking through that stack old papers in your drawer are other ways to go, just not the best way. Foremost, these people would include your partners and shareholders. It also includes directors (if you have a corporation) or your managers (if you have an LLC). It can even include your accountant, lawyer, financial manager and other trusted advisors who need access to your records, or potential lenders or investors who want to perform due diligence on your company. The important thing is that you control who has access to your corporation or LLC's records.
After Incorporation's Corporate Documents tool is organized intuitively and in a manner that informs. It includes the following subsections:
- Formation Documents. This is where you put the Certificate of Organization and Operating Agreement, if your company is an LLC, or Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, if it is a corporation. (Some states use slightly different names for these documents). You can also include any amendments to your formation documents. Process-wise, you simply scan the documents, upload them and label them. You also have the ability to include comments or summaries for future convenience. The administrator or administrators of each hosted entity have the ability to upload, label and edit documents and can give others access with or without the ability to do so.
- Investor Documents. This is where copies of all share certificates (if your company is a corporation) or membership unit certificates (if you have an LLC) are kept. Other documents associated with the issuance or transfer of those interests can also be stored here. In other words, the backup to your share registry is in one, easily accessible place.
- Key Contracts. This is a place to post contracts that aren't related to the formation of your company but that you believe would be useful for your investors, your management team or your accountants and lawyers to have access to. To help you decide what these might be, put yourself in the shoes of a potential new partner or investor in your company. Before investing in your company, such a person would want to review the company's major contracts (such as a long-term agreement with a major customer), but probably not daily agreements such as common invoices.
- Annual Filings. Annual Reports you are required to file with the state should be kept here. You have the track record of your filing history and key correspondence with the state.
- Key Tax Documents. Here, you can post your application for an EIN, your subchapter S election form, your tax returns, key correspondence with taxing authorities, etc.
- Employee Documents. Post your employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, benefit plans, etc. If this section is empty, it serves as a reminder that you need to get some of these things in place, particularly employee confidentiality agreements.
There are also sections for Financing Documents, Lease Agreements, Powers of Attorney, Deeds & Titles, Permits & Licenses, Company Policies, Notices and any other subject area that you find helpful to separate out.
It takes a little time and organization on the front end, but using the After Incorporation tools will pay huge dividends going forward.