Avoiding the Most Common Business Partnership Killers

Illinois small business lawyersSavvy entrepreneurs often pool their skills and resources to increase the chances of success. Unfortunately, when a partnership is formed under the wrong conditions, this pathway to success can quickly become a business owner’s worst nightmare. Learn how you can avoid the most common business partnership killers in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you proactively mitigate the possibility of a failed partnership.

Partnerships Born from a Lack of Money or Skill

In an ideal partnership, business owners have “synergy,” or a way that they complement one another. As an example, one partner might have the marketing tools and resources that the company needs to be successful while the other has a knack for thinking “outside the box.” Unfortunately, if one partner “needs” another in order to achieve success – perhaps one person has the idea and marketing skills while the other possesses the capital to start the business – any potential benefit of a partnership may be lost. To avoid this issue, partners are encouraged to share expenses, not capital. Also, you should never give away something that is yours (i.e. information, ideas, etc.). Instead, create an iron-clad contract that can protect your ideas and concepts, even if the partnership ultimately fails.

Splitting the Business 50/50

Doing a 50/50 business split might seem like the best way to avoid conflicts, but it can actually do you more harm than good. In fact, successful businesses are rarely split right down the middle. Instead, most businesses have a 60/40 or 70/30 split, where one party (typically the one with the idea, but not always) owns more of the company. Not only does this protect you, should the business end, but it also gives your customers a “point of contact,”  a person who is responsible and accountable for operations.

Partnerships Without a Legal Contract

While as contract is not needed to start a partnership, entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to ensure they have one before embarking on a shared venture. Able to protect your business and ideas while also decreasing the risk of problems if the business fails, your contract should define every aspect of the partnership – from how responsibilities and shares are split to how the partners can exit the business if they so choose. An experienced business law attorney can explain your options and assist you in developing a contract that benefits and protects all parties.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, we prioritize the future success of our clients. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, our DuPage County small business attorneys can assist you with all aspects of starting your business. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/196912

Screening Potential Tenants Can Protect Your Real Estate Business from Financial Loss

Illinois real estate attorneysWhen renting out property – be it commercial or residential – landlords are encouraged to conduct a thorough screening of all prospective tenants. The reasoning for this is simple: tenants can cost you thousands of dollars in property damage, lost rental fees, and court costs. Learn more about how to ensure you have done your due diligence on a potential tenant for your property, and discover how a seasoned real estate attorney can help protect your real estate business.

The Pre-Screening Process

There are many ways to conduct a tenant screening, but most landlords find a two-step process preferable, which starts with a pre-screening, and it typically includes questions like:

  • Why are you moving?
  • Can you meet the income requirements?
  • Do you have pets?
  • When do you want to move in?
  • Will anyone else be living/doing business with you?
  • Are you willing to undergo a background and credit check?
  • Can you provide me with past rental references?

With these few questions, landlords are often able to filter out tenants who might be problematic. Some may even remove themselves from the pool of tenants because they are uncomfortable with the questions or cannot answer them satisfactorily. At the very least, these questions allow the landlord to focus their efforts on the tenants who seem to be the “best fit” for their property or situation.

Digging Deeper Into a Prospective Tenant’s Rental History

Although it may be possible to screen out problematic tenants with the pre-screening questions, one should never rely solely on this phase of the screening process. There are “professional tenants” that know how to difficult it can be to evict someone. Able to make themselves sound like model tenants, these seemingly charming and charismatic people often have a slew of evictions on their record. Alternatively, they may not have active employment and may, instead, offer you invalid employer information to get themselves into your property. Avoid such issues by ensuring you always conduct a criminal background check, credit check, and a rental history check. Also, always verify employment and call a prospective tenant’s references before moving forward with a lease.

Adding Another Layer of Protection to Your Real Estate Business

Although many landlords choose to handle tenant matters on their own, savvy business owners recognize that it is often best to delegate some of your more taxing or complex duties, such as screening tenants or fighting a problematic tenant in court. It is here where the aid and assistance of a seasoned real estate attorney can become valuable.

With over 40 years of experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can add yet another layer of protection to your real estate business. Able to assist you in developing a clear and concise rental agreement, and capable of aggressively representing you in court if a tenant defaults, our DuPage County real estate lawyers make your financial future our top priority. Learn more about how we can assist you in growing and protecting your portfolio by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 630-655-2500 today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/03/08/how-to-screen-potential-tenants-and-save-thousands/#7adb48b0332c

When is Probate Necessary in Illinois?

Illinois probate lawyersProbate is a court-supervised procedure in which the court determines who is supposed to inherit the assets of a deceased person. Though not always necessary, it is sometimes required. The following sections can help you learn more about the probate process in Illinois, including when it may be needed and how a seasoned attorney can help improve the outcome for entitled heirs.

When is Probate Necessary? 

Illinois’ probate laws are not dependent upon whether there was a valid will at the time of a person’s death. Instead, they focus on the assets that the individual owned and how they were titled. For example, assets that are found to be joint- or entirety-owned may be distributed without probate. Assets held in trust, assets assigned to a designated beneficiary (i.e. retirement accounts), and real estate assets with a transfer-on-death deed may be distributed without a will or probate as well. In contrast, an estate may be required to go through probate if:

  • The estate’s value exceeds $100,000,
  • Assets belonging to the deceased party were held solely,
  • There are concerns over the validity of the will,
  • The will contains confusing language,
  • Heirs cannot be easily identified,
  • Creditors make claims against the estate, or
  • The executor is suspected of wrongdoing.

Illinois’ Probate Process

To start the probate process, the estate executor must file paperwork with the Circuit Court in which the deceased party resided. (Note: If an executor of the estate was not named, or if there was no will, a vested party must step forward and ask to be appointed the estate’s administrator.) They must then gather, inventory, and safeguard all assets until they can be distributed. Typically, this occurs after creditors have been notified and valid claims have been paid. Taxes, which may be owed on estates that exceed $4 million at the state level and $5.45 million at the federal level, must also be paid before a distribution occurs.

Executors can usually navigate the process without gaining clearance from the courts, but there are situations in which the executor must gain clearance before every step. The latter is highly complex, and the assistance of a seasoned, competent attorney is highly encouraged. In all other cases, the path forward may depend greatly on the exact details of the case.

Contact Our Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyers

If you or someone you know needs assistance with the probate process, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to call. Our knowledgeable Wheaton estate planning lawyers are backed by more than 40 years of experience, and we preserve the best interests of our clients at every turn. Schedule your free and personalized consultation by calling 630-225-2500 today.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60