Small Businesses in Illinois Are Experiencing Record Profits But There May Still Be Trouble on the Horizon

Wheaton small business lawyersDuring the Great Recession, many small business owners struggled to make ends meet. Many had to close their doors. Today, things look very different. In fact, small businesses have been a major contributor to the nation’s recovery, and most are seeing record profits. Sadly, financial experts believe there could still be trouble on the horizon. Learn how you can safeguard your company against some of the challenges that may arise over the next few years, and discover how a seasoned small business lawyer can help with the process. 

Record Profits for Small Businesses Across the Nation

According to the new Small Business Optimism Index, published by the National Federation of Independent Business, small businesses are experiencing record profits, nationwide. What is more, the reporting of poor sales has fallen to a near record low. Sadly, there are some concerns over whether this trend will continue, especially in Illinois, where business taxes may soon increase, thanks to the state’s massive debt level. For smaller companies, the increase could be especially crippling, as many are pass-through entities, meaning they pay taxes out of their own personal income. 

To make matters worse, there are politicians who want to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. That is an increase of about 70 to 80 percent in wages; few small businesses could handle such a hike. In fact, those in Cook County, where the minimum wage is $13 an hour, are already struggling, yet it is likely only a matter of time before the increase occurs state-wide. Thankfully, it is possible to start mitigating against the challenges now, long before they are approved. 

Preparing Your Small Business for Potential Tax and Wage Increases

While there is little that a small business can do to avoid the tax and wage hike issues, there are ways to prepare for the challenges that may arise because of them. First, the business can have a financial expert examine their books to look for any potential cut-backs. Second, small business owners can seek the aid of a lawyer. The benefit here is that a lawyer can examine the company for vulnerabilities like confusing verbiage in their employment contracts or company policies. As such, the business can reduce their risk of a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit, which could completely bankrupt them if the taxes and wages do increase. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the challenges that small businesses face because we are a small company ourselves. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, our seasoned Wheaton small business lawyers also have the knowledge and foresight to assist you in preparing for the possible challenges ahead. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call our offices at 630-665-2500 today. 



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.


University Says Illinois' Economy is Experiencing Slow and Stable Growth

Illinois business law attorneysIt has taken the country years to recover from the 19-month recession of 2007, and in some states – like Illinois – the recovery has been slow to the point of painstaking. There have been gains, however. In fact, the University of Illinois recently released its annual index, which showed that Illinois is currently experiencing slow but stable growth. That makes now the perfect time to start your new business. Learn more about what to expect in the future regarding potential business growth, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you make a successful start.

Standing Strong Against Potential Threats 

The development of bitcoin and some other potential threats to the economy (artificial intelligence, vehicle automation, trade wars, etc.) may be impacting the current market in negative ways, but the economy remains strong, regardless. The University's index, which measures the financial market, made e a slight dip in March, going from 104.6 to 104.5, but it has continued to remain in the 104 to 105 point range. The University says that anything above 100 indicates economic growth. The last time it fell below 100 was in February 2012.

Why Start Your Business Now?

While the economy should never deter you from pursuing a business venture, there are legitimate reasons why you may not want to open your doors in a volatile or downward market. In fact, some potential business owners have put off their business ventures because they simply did not have the will or ability to assume much risk. Thankfully, it appears that now could be the perfect time to move forward – and not just because the market is growing and stable. The new tax plan is expected to "restart" some of the commercial development cycles, and that could lead to more growth and stability for business owners in other markets.

Opening Your Business – Making the Initial Step

While you do not need an attorney to start a business, many entrepreneurs find that the assistance of a legal professional helps to ease much of the process. They can help you with everything from deciding the structure of your business to ensuring you obtain all the licensing and permits that are necessary for daily operations. An attorney can also advise you on how to protect your business from litigation, and they can represent you if an issue should arise.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we are committed to helping you achieve success. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, our DuPage County business law attorneys offer personalized, comprehensive services to suit your needs. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.