While most people think of fitness goals when making their New Year’s resolutions, it’s also smart to get your personal and business financial documents in shape. After the holiday season is out of the way, it seems like tax time is right around the corner for your small business. It’s never too early to start getting your documents in order in case you want to buy a business or recapitalize your existing one.

The top 5 items you’ll need are as follows:

  1. Accurate Financial Statements going back two years (or as far back as you can go if you’ve been in business less than that amount of time). This is only applicable if you already own a business. If you’re considering the purchase of one, make sure to have your last two bank statements.
  2. Your past two years of personal tax (and business, if applicable) returns. This will help your accounting professionals calculate the correct amount owed or due.
  3. A current Balance Sheet for your business or personal network sheet. This snapshot of your financial condition should outline your assets, liabilities and equity.
  4. Your Personal Credit Report. Sites like myfico.com are wonderful if you want to take a peek and see where you are.
  5. A Consolidated AND Itemized list of Assets/Inventory. This is a convenient way to record what you have and recognize what your business may be missing.

The sooner you secure all of the documentation listed above, the better shape you’ll be in for 2013, and the faster you can access capital. You can even skip a trip to the gym (but don’t tell your trainer I said so!)

David Nilssen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Guidant Financial. Read more tips about becoming a successful entrepreneur in his book, Making the Jump into Small Business Ownership.