What to Look for in Entity Management Software
Technology for legal entity management turns the facts of corporate law into a system and process to increase the company’s financial value. It speeds the routine maintenance work. This technology provides a global view of the interlocking corporate structure. Your company or firm might not need all these capabilities today, yet their availability for important legal entities is invaluable.
A corporate registry is a list of legal entities. Any legal form of organization can appear in the registry from limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships, trusts, individuals, or exotic entities like Series LLCs. The registry includes entities from any jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of formation can be national, like Switzerland, Luxembourg, or Singapore; subnational, like the United States; or a hybrid system, like Australia and Canada.
The registry view brings all entities together; the entity view displays the data and documents about one entity. The entity view shows summary information about the entity, like jurisdiction and date of incorporation. The entity should include:
- Requirements & Filings,
- Ownership & Organizational Charts,
- Officers & Directors, and
- Tasks related to the entity.
The entity view should grow with the entity: simple for new entities; sophisticated for seasoned entities.
Entity management software can store the documents important for an entity: organizational documents and ownership agreements. Full featured solutions will allow management of any legal document: executive compensation agreements, licenses, permits, creditor agreements, and the list goes on.
Requirements & Filings
Legal entities have filings or compliance obligations. Entity management tacks those filings in one place. Entities have to file annual reports or annual statements periodically. The period can vary: quarterly, annually, bi-annually, or every so many years. Other basic filings include trade name — doing business as (DBA) filings — and foreign authorizations. More sophisticated filings include authorized signatories, authorized agents, and special licenses. Entity management software should accommodate any filing in any jurisdiction on any frequency.
Ownership & Org Charts
Ownership information unlocks the ability to visualize the company’s organizational chart. Track all current and former owners for the business entity. Lextree keeps track of the amount and duration of any equity owners, whether it is a corporation, limited liability company, or any other legal entity. Lextree uses the ownership information to create a legal org chart automatically.
Officers & Directors
For any form of organization, entity management software helps assign managers and owner representatives to entities in the corporate family. These might be managers and members in a limited liability company, or traditional officers and directors in a corporation.
Management of officers and directors should include terms of service. A term of service tracks when the appointment started and when it ends. Tracking terms of service can create a report of which officers and directors were in place when a specific decision was made in the past.
Some entity management applications allow users to assign tasks to one another. Those tasks might be recurring or one-time. Task management turns entity management into collaborative effort among colleagues to provide a high level of service and to ensure compliance.
Reports & Analysis
Entity management applications can provide built-in reporting and analysis tools. At a minimum, an application should allow for data export and report printing in PDF format.
A few entity management applications allow for customization of their features from within the applications so that you can adapt it to your organization’s needs. These customizations are useful for reporting. Configuration options can include any type of legal entity in any country, region, or state.