Business Operations: Forms and Contracts
It can be an exciting prospect to start your own business, but it also means that all aspects of the business fall on your shoulders. As a business owner, you will encounter a wide variety of issues while operating your business on a daily basis. This article provides sample documents that you can use as a guide to assist you in your day-to-day business operations.
Effective finance management and accounting is one of the keys to a successful business. For this reason, it's important to keep close track of the income and liabilities of your business. The samples below can help you create your own tools to track your business finances.
- Sample Profit and Loss Statement: Contains information that is generally tracked in a profit and loss statement.
- Reading a Balance Sheet: Provides a sample balance sheet with definitions and descriptions of key elements.
- Sample Business Balance Sheet: Lists information that is generally included in the balance sheet of a business.
- Sample Operating Budget: Tracks common expenses and overhead costs associated with operating a business.
Every business will deal with contracts, whether they are oral or written; and since they are legally binding agreements, it's a good idea for all business owners have a basic understanding of contract law. Below you can find a sample of a sales contract, a checklist for common terms of a contract, and a sample letter in the event of a billing dispute.
- Sample Basic Sales Contract: Sample sales contract to help you draft or enter into a sales contract of your own.
- Contract Terms Checklist: Basic provisions that may be important to include or consider in a business contract.
- Sample Billing Dispute Letter: If you notice a billing error, it's important to provide the creditor with written notice of the error, and this section provides a sample billing dispute letter.
Equipment and Services
In starting your business and making various decisions, it can be helpful to see examples of how others have made similar decisions. Below you can find examples of real service agreements and equipment leases to guide you in entering into your own agreements.
- Services Agreements: Real-life examples of service agreements.
- Equipment Leases: Real-life examples of equipment leases.
Sales and Marketing
In order for your business to adequately reach prospective customers, it's important to engage in effective marketing and advertising. As a new and busy business owner, it can be difficult to figure out the best place to start for effective sales and marketing. Below you can find sample sales and marketing agreements, as well as a marketing strategy questionnaire to get you started in developing your marketing plan.
- Sales and Marketing Agreements: Real-world examples of sales and marketing agreements.
- Marketing Strategy Questionnaire: Items to consider when developing a marketing plan or strategy for your business.
In this day and age, Internet and e-commerce play a large role in the way that people learn about and engage with businesses. For this reason, it's important for your business to have a strong Internet presence. The checklists below provide helpful information about how to have the best Internet exposure for your business.
- Choosing a Domain Name: Guidelines to assist you in choosing a business name with an Internet presence in mind.
- Disclosure and the Internet: Lists steps that businesses can take to reduce the legal risks when disseminating company news online.
- Establishing a Website: Lists basic procedural information for establishing a business website.
Day-to-Day Business Operations Checklists
Once you have everything set up for your business, it'll be time to run the day-to-day business operations. The documents below provide some helpful guidance in aspects that will affect your daily business operations.
- Minimizing Business Risks and Losses: Items to consider for effectively implementing a risk management and loss prevention program.
- Making an Insurance Claim: Lists information to help you organize and justify an insurance claim.
- Choosing a Business Location: Lists questions you should think about and answer when deciding where to open your business.
- Choosing a Facility: Lists questions that will help you determine if a particular building is a good fit for your business.
Getting Legal Help
If you have questions or concerns about any of the forms and contracts on this list, or other questions about your business operations, you may want to contact a local business and commercial attorney.
For more information and resources related to this topic, you can visit FindLaw's section on Business Contracts and Forms.