Tips for Protecting Your Interests While Negotiating a Business Contract

Wheaton small business lawyersAlthough there are many key elements to running a successful business, few can outweigh the importance of successful contract negotiation. This single element can determine everything from a businesses’s profit margin for each transaction to the legal recourse that a business owner may take if a client or partner infringes on the company’s intellectual property. As such, it is critical that company owners understand the elements of effective business contract negotiation.

Examining the Five Elements of Contract Negotiation 

An effective business contract should do more than simply state the terms of an agreement; it should detail a reasonable arrangement that mutually benefits all involved parties, and it should clearly define the environment and conditions under which the parties are willing to operate. To reach such an agreement, business owners are encouraged to implement all five elements of contract negotiation, which include:

  1. Prepare for the Negotiation Process - To create a mutually beneficial contract, you must first prepare for the negotiation process. Start by determining their strengths and weaknesses and determine how they might use these in negotiations. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses as well, and determine your aims for the contract (what do you want to accomplish?). Also, know your deal-breakers and decide what you are willing to compromise on during the negotiation process;
  2. Clarify the Details - Once you have an idea of what should be in the contract (these are the terms under which you are willing to operate), it is important to ensure you closely examine all of the details. Are your conditions and expectations clear? Are the financial terms easy to understand? Is there any verbiage that may confuse your potential client? When does the contract come into effect, and when does it end? What happens if one party defaults on their part of the contract, and is that clearly stated? For best results, have your attorney examine the details and wording of the contract, as they can help you avoid potential loopholes and confusing or cloudy terms or details;
  3. Exert Pressure to Encourage Contract Signing - Parties typically only sign a contract when they feel confident that they can benefit from the contract and its terms – but a successful negotiation should take it one step further. The other party should feel as though they are losing something by not signing the contract. Know your market, your other options, and ensure you have a seasoned attorney to assist you with this element. 
  4. Offer Concessions (When and Why) - Concessions are not an automatic element in contract negotiations. Instead, they are usually added at the end, when parties feel a deal is possible and they are ready to close. Try to offer concessions that provide a great deal of benefit to your partner at a low cost to you, and determine if the concessions offered by the other party are beneficial enough to your company;
  5. Close the Deal - Once all the parties agree on the major aspects of the contract, it is important to close the deal. By not asking when you are truly interested and see a possible future for your partnership, you leave money on the table. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the challenges that small businesses face because we are one ourselves. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, our seasoned DuPage County small business attorneys can protect your company’s interests during contract negotiations, and we can assist you in closing the deal. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your consultation with our offices to get started today. 

Source:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/negotiate-business-contract-61994.html

An Overview of Illinois’ Landlord-Tenant Laws

Illinois landlord lawyersWhile, in most cases, a landlord and tenant can complete the term of a lease without issue, there are scenarios in which legal assistance may be needed, either by the landlord or the tenant. Some even require the assistance of an attorney. To help you determine if you might be facing such an issue, consider the following overview on Illinois’ landlord-tenant laws.

Required Leasing Disclosures for Landlords

Under Illinois state law, landlords are required to disclose specific information to tenants. Usually, done through the lease agreement, this information includes: 

  • Utilities that are included in the price of rent (paid by the landlord but billed to the tenant);
  • Rent concessions must be detailed in a very specific manner. If a landlord fails to comply with this law, they could face both civil and criminal penalties;
  • Presence of radon (if applicable). Landlords are not required to test for radon, but if they test and find it is present, they must disclose this to any prospective tenant; and
  • Any local city or county disclosures that may be required by law.

Security Deposit Limits and Returns 

While Illinois state law does not limit the amount that a landlord can charge for a security deposit, it does require that any returns be made in a timely manner (usually 30-45 days after the tenant moves out). If a deposit will not be returned, due to damages or unpaid rent, landlords are encouraged to submit to the tenant an itemized list that explains any charges for which they are responsible. Tenants have the right to dispute any charges that they incur, and they have the right to take the matter to small claims court for up to $10,000 in unreturned deposits, but the assistance of an attorney is recommended for this process. If the landlord does not return a deposit but holds it for six or more months, they may be responsible for paying the tenant interest on any unreturned security deposits. 

Notice Requirements on Price Changes, Evictions, and Lease Termination

Certain rent and leasing notices are regulated by state law, including increases to rent prices, evictions, and termination of tenancy. Specifically, landlords must notify tenants:

  • 30 days prior to a change in rent prices;
  • 5-10 days to pay rent before filing for eviction for a non-payment of rent; and
  • 10 days for a notice to end tenancy when a term of the lease has been violated.

Tenant Protections and a Landlord’s Right to Access Property

State law also protects both landlords and tenants in certain situations. For example, a landlord has the right to inspect the property, but they must provide the tenant with advance notice before entering the property. There are also laws regarding how a landlord must handle property that has been abandoned by a previous tenant. Protections for tenants who are victims of domestic violence or have certain disabilities are also covered under Illinois’ landlord-tenant laws. 

Our DuPage County Real Estate Attorneys Can Help with Your Landlord-Tenant Issue

Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can assist with your landlord-tenant issues. In every situation, we strive for the most favorable outcome possible. Contact our Wheaton real estate lawyers at 630-665-2500 to schedule your consultation today. 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2913&ChapterID=37

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2206&ChapterID=62

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2208&ChapterID=62

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2202&ChapterID=62

 

Assigning a Power of Attorney – Reasons, Considerations, and the Steps to Take

Illinois wills and trusts lawyersWhen drafting an estate plan, guarantors are often asked whether they have selected a power of attorney to represent them during a period of incapacitation. Do you really need such a person and how do you decide which person to name in your will or trust? More importantly, how can you ensure that the person you select is able to effectively represent your interests? Learn the answers to these questions in the following sections, and to discover how the assistance of a seasoned wills and trusts lawyer can protect the best interests of you, your heirs, and your estate. 

Why Assign a Power of Attorney? 

Although it can be unnerving to legally name and assign someone to handle your financial and healthcare decisions during a period of incapacitation, doing so can benefit you, your family, and your estate. First, it can ensure that you are not given medical treatments that you do not wish to receive. You are also less likely to experience the financial consequences that tend to occur when one’s finances go unmanaged (i.e. late fees, extreme loss in the stock market, unpaid bills, etc.), which can ensure your estate remains preserved for your heirs, should you eventually pass away. 

Considerations to Make When Choosing a Power of Attorney 

When you assign a financial power of attorney, you are giving that person the power to handle your financial affairs. Healthcare proxies make decisions relating to your health. In either case, it is critical that you explicitly trust the person you select to make decisions that are in your best interest, and in accordance with your wishes. As such, there are a few things that you might want to consider when selecting your financial power of attorney or healthcare proxy:

  • Does the person in question have a history of financial problems? Such issues can indicate that the person is unable to effectively manage money;
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with the person? If so, you may want to consider whether they may be secretly holding a grudge against you;
  • Would you say that the person in question is strong, or are they easily persuaded? The latter may find it difficult to respect your wishes if they experience push-back from others in your life; and
  • Do you consider the person in question to be someone of good character? Anyone who works in their own best interests in front of you may be more than willing to defraud you during incapacitation.

Contact Our Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyers Before Taking the Next Step

Once you have selected someone that you feel is trustworthy, honest, and willing to work in your best interests, regardless of the circumstances, take the next step and contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for assistance. Our seasoned DuPage County wills and trusts lawyers can help ensure that your wishes are clearly stated, and that they comply with all laws so that you are effectively represented during incapacitation. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Source:

http://www.eldercarelink.com/Legal-and-Financial/Understanding-and-Selecting-a-Financial-Power-of-Attorney.htm