The National Federation of Independent Business (NFFIB) is realistic. They know that many small business owners have already broken some of your New Year’s resolutions. (Have you kept your promise to hit the gym at least twice a week? How about not working on the weekend or checking emails on your smartphone during the night?)

iStock_000012062331XSmallNFIB understands that old habits die hard. But nevertheless they want to make sure you do what it takes to protect your small business. The NFIB Legal Center has issued a list of five resolutions about your small business policies and procedures that they encourage you to keep. They include:

Perform an insurance check-up: Check in with your insurance agent and review your coverage. If your agent is not familiar with the unique requirements of your business and industry; find one who is to get the best available coverage and rates.

Review your employee policies:  Your employee handbook should describe your operational policies, not your mission statement and goals. It should include the procedures your business actually follows. Update, delete and edit your handbook as recommended by your attorney. Distribute the revised handbook to everyone on your team and have them sign a form acknowledging they received it. Keep the form in their personnel files.

Check your corporate records: if you are a corporation, you need to follow corporate procedures. Just having a corporate status won’t protect you from personal liability if you don’t.  Meet with your attorney or accountant to review the contents of your corporate binder. Make sure it contains what you need to prove the corporate status of your business.

Implement a document retention policy: You don’t need to keep every document related to your business; but you want to have the ones that will protect you in the event of litigation, not to mention saving physical and computer storage space. Check with your attorney or tax professional to find out what you need to keep and what you can toss. Then be sure to implement a document retention policy for all your employees to follow.

Audit your form I-9s: The federal government uses the Form I-9 to hold employers accountable for hiring workers legally eligible to work in the United States. You should complete the form the first day of employment for everyone on your team. Make sure you have forms correctly completed for everyone who works for you.

NFIB encourages you move on these before too long in the best interests of protecting your business this year and breeding its success.

Oh and one more thing, Happy New Year!