How the New AHP Could Increase the Risk of Lawsuits Against Your Small Business

DuPage County small business law attorneysSmall businesses have long struggled to provide the same quality healthcare benefits to their employees as larger corporations. As a result, their hiring pool is often smaller, and they sometimes lose good workers, solely because they lack the ability to provide certain benefits. Thanks to the new AHP, that could all change. Franchisors and small businesses need to tread lightly, however, as there are some aspects of the law that could increase their risk of a lawsuit. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned small business lawyer could help to mitigate this risk for your company. 

A Closer Look at the New AHP

At their core, AHPs allow small businesses to band together to purchase healthcare coverage for their employees, but unlike the older version, this new AHP allows companies to band together based on more than just industry or field. Instead, they can be linked by geography, or simply the desire to offer healthcare coverage. Set to start in September, the new AHP will apply to all small businesses, and even self-employed individuals, which were originally excluded. 

Employers who enroll in the program are expected to have the same flexibility as large corporations when choosing a coverage plan, but they may find that there are more exclusions. For example, a provider can choose not to cover prescriptions or drug rehabilitation services. Laws regrind maternity care, pre-existing conditions, and preventative care still apply. 

Avoiding Lawsuits Under the New AHP

In a large corporation, the human resources (HR) department typically works to ensure that all provided benefits are complaint with the law. In a small business or franchise, the task typically falls on the shoulders of the owner, who may already be spread too thin. As a result, they may fail to meet the legal requirements, such as ensuring that:

  • They are providing maternity coverage if they have 15 or more employees;
  • The cost to workers does not exceed more than 9.56 percent of their income (companies with 50 or more employees); and
  • The plan covers at least 60 percent of the cost of covered benefits (companies with 50 or more employees).

If an employer fails to meet these requirements and their employee has to seek other coverage because of that oversight, the small business could be subject to fines, penalties, and lawsuits. 

Franchisors have an even bigger challenge; overcoming joint liability when their franchisees fail to meet the requirements. Extra precautions, like hiring a program administrator and setting up an AHP trust, are highly encouraged for these companies. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we recognize just how devastating a lawsuit can be to your company’s future, and we strive to protect it. Skilled and experienced, our Wheaton small business lawyers can assist you in taking the appropriate steps before enrolling in an AHP. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized consultation to get started today. 

Sources:

http://www.nprillinois.org/post/read-fine-print-picking-association-plan-your-small-business#stream/0

https://www.benefitspro.com/2018/03/30/small-businesses-franchises-need-to-tread-lightly/

 

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.

Source:

http://qconline.com/business/illinois-economy-in-slow-stable-growth/article_9b7c37ce-f035-5d79-b1d9-a4082e8901ac.html

Obtaining the Licenses and Permits You Need to Start Your Small Business

Illinois small business attorneyStarting a small business can be a massive undertaking. Nuanced steps and countless legal requirements, such as ensuring you have the correct licensing and permits for your business, can also make the process a little confusing. Thankfully, you do not have to go through the process alone. Learn more in the following sections, including how an experienced attorney can help you set your business up for success, both now and long into the future.

Licensing and Permits for Small Businesses

Most businesses require a license or permit. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine what type of license or permit you might need. Everything from the services and products you offer to the entity and location of your business can impact the licensing or permit you might need. To complicate matters even further, some companies will need to register with the federal government to obtain a tax permit to ensure they are complying with the imposed tax withholdings and unemployment insurance requirements. Failure to obtain the correct licensing and permits can have dire consequences, both for your business and for you, as an individual. In some cases, it could even result in criminal charges. Do not take chances. Instead, ensure you have experienced assistance, every step of the way.

How an Experienced DuPage County Business Law Attorney Can Help

Although an attorney is not required for obtaining licenses and permits for a small business, it is highly recommended that small business owners obtain legal assistance during the process. Not only does this reduce the risk of a missed or overlooked license or permit, but it can also simplify other aspects of the start-up phase of one's business. For example, an attorney can help you examine the pros and cons of different business entities to help you determine which may be most appropriate for your current needs and situation.

With more than 40 years of business law experience and a small business ourselves, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to trust. Solution-based and skilled problem solvers, our seasoned DuPage County business law attorneys can assist you with every step of the business start-up process. Make the choices that improve your chances of business success. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your personalized consultation with us today.

Source:

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-and-permits