Establishing a Business in Illinois – What Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Need to Know

Wheaton small business attorneysFew things in life are as satisfying as running your own company and being your own boss, but such a privilege requires a lot of hard work and dedication. There are also multiple steps – some strategic, some legal – to starting your own company. Learn more about establishing a business in Illinois, discover what resources are available to you, and obtain detailed information on how a seasoned business law attorney can ease the process and help to ensure your business is protected in the years to come. 

Preparing for Business – The Initial Steps

Ideally, business owners would start preparing for business long before they plan to open their doors. They would have a complete a market analysis and have an in-depth business plan, and they would have already started to engage with people on social media to ensure they have a solid customer base before opening their doors for business.The world is not perfect, however, and sometimes business owners jump in, head-first, without really knowing what it takes to be successful in today’s digital world.

Thankfully, even if this occurs, there are ways to recover. There are also numerous resources at the business owner’s disposal, such as the Small Business Association (SBA), which offers detailed information on how to create a business plan. Entrepreneurs can also outsource some of the work, like social media engagement and website creation, to ensure they have more time to focus on other tasks, such as:

  • Conducting a market analysis;
  • Choosing and protecting your business name;
  • Developing a marketing plan;
  • Finding financing for your business;
  • Opening a bank account;
  • Hiring your first employees (if applicable);
  • Choosing a location for your business; and
  • Speaking with an attorney to ensure all the legalities of opening a business are covered.

The Legal Aspects of Opening a Business 

In addition to ensuring that your business has a solid customer base, creating a marketing plan, and setting up the company’s financials, business owners must comply with state and federal laws, including those relating to taxes and employment. These laws require that entrepreneurs: 

  • Decide on and create a business entity;
  • Register the business name;
  • Obtain a federal employment identification number, or EIN, (if applicable);
  • Register for local and state taxes;
  • Obtain any required business licenses or permits; and
  • Ensuring you meet all state and federal employment laws (if applicable).

Many of these aspects of opening a business contain multiple steps and complex processes. To reduce the chances of a mistake or missed element, business owners can seek the aid of a seasoned and competent business law attorney. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

As a small business ourselves, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC understands the challenges and obstacles that entrepreneurs face when opening their own businesses. We aid in all ways possible, and we can even help protect your business from litigation and other legal issues in the future. Schedule a personalized consultation with our DuPage County small business attorneys to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Sources:

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/

https://www2.illinois.gov/business/registration-licenses-permits

 

Medicare to Now Cover End-of-Life Care Sessions

end-of-life care sessions, end-of-life care, DuPage County Estate Planning AttorneyOn January 1, 2016, Medicare will begin covering the medical costs for patients who wish to participate in end-of-life counseling sessions. Many medical personnel already discuss these subjects with patients, however, they do not receive any reimbursement.

Under the new coverage, physicians and nurse practitioners, as well as other health care providers, will now receive payment for the time they spend discussing end-of-life options with patients.

A report issued in 2014 by the Institute of Medicine, "Dying in America," touted the importance of providing patients with the opportunity to discuss what life saving measures they do or do not want taken in the event that decision has to be made, as well as other end-of-life care options. The report found that many patients suffer through invasive treatments instead of receiving more comfort care, mainly because they never have end-of-life care discussions with their physicians, or even their families.

Medicare came up with the proposal, which was supported by Congress, as well as more than 50 organizations, including AARP and the American Medical Association (AMA).

A patient can have a counseling session either during his or her regular wellness checkup or during a separate appointment. Patients are encouraged to have these discussions with their doctors when they are healthy, as well as if they are struggling with a life-threatening illness.

The Institute's report also concluded that people may have different decisions depending on where they are in life. For example, a healthy person may choose extraordinary measures to be taken if he or she is in an accident, but do not feel the same way if he or she is facing a terminal illness such as cancer.

Once a person has decided what end-of-life care he or she wants, it is also important to decide who should legally oversee any medical or financial decisions that need to be made if the individual become too ill or incapacitated to make those decisions. A health care power of attorney and a property power of attorney will ensure that the person or people you wish to handle those decisions will be the one(s) making them.

If you need help in drafting powers of attorney, contact an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney to assist you. Contact the law firm of Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, at 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

https://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2014/EOL/Report%20Brief.pdf

http://www.wsj.com/articles/government-proposes-to-pay-health-providers-for-end-of-life-discussions-1436396400

http://www.fayobserver.com/news/nation/medicare-to-cover-counseling-sessions-on-end-of-life-care/article_a5326736-7756-5cde-8f2d-68fae9cfb32f.html

The Benefits of 529 Savings Plan for Estate Planning

In light of the cost of college tuition and other associated expenses, it is never too early to start your children's or grandchildren’s college fund. In fact, one option for savings—529 college savings plans—can actually offer estate planning benefits, as well.

The 529 savings plan debuted in 1996 as a way to set up an educational savings plan without having to pay federal taxes on any interest that is earned by the account. The plan gets its name from Section 529 of the IRS tax code.

There are two different types of plans. The first is the college savings plan. Like other types of financial savings plans, the funds that are deposited in this type of account are typically invested in bond mutual funds, stock mutual funds, money market funds, and other portfolio investments. These funds can later be used at any college or university. It is important to note that these funds are not federally insured or guaranteed by the state.

In the majority of states, you do not have to be a resident of the plan you invest in, nor does your child have to attend school in that state either. For example, a person can live in California, invest in New Hampshire's plan, but their child ultimately decides to attend school in Virginia.

The second type of plan is pre-paid tuition. With this type of plan, a person can pay future tuition costs, and some plans even allow upfront payments for room and board costs. These plans typically have a state residency requirement to participate and are usually guaranteed by the state.

Illinois currently has three 529 savings plans. The state also has a prepaid tuition program available. However, that program is only open to residents of Illinois.

When it comes to estate planning benefits, grandparents can set up 529 savings plans in their grandchild's name. These funds are then removed from taxable estate funds, yet the grandparents still maintain full control of the funds, as well as withdraw the funds at any time. There is a 10 percent penalty for an early withdrawal.

If you would like more information regarding 529 savings plans, or have any other estate planning needs, please contact an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney today. Contact the law firm of Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, at 630-665-2500.

Sources:

http://www.savingforcollege.com/529_plan_details/index.php?state_id=14&page=plans_by_state

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/mutual-funds/articles/2014/09/03/the-ultimate-guide-to-understanding-529-college-savings-plans

http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm