Structuring Your Business – Limited Liability Partnerships versus Limited Liability Companies

Wheaton business law attorneysThe structure of a business is more than just a critical element; it is what dictates nearly every aspect of the business. Sadly, too many business owners fail to give the decision of how to structure their business enough thought, which can place them and their partners and investors at risk for legal and financial consequences. Discover how even the smallest of differences in structure, such as those seen in limited liability partnerships (LLP) and limited liability companies (LLC), can make all the difference in the future stability of your company, and learn how an experienced Illinois business law attorney can assist you in making the right decision for your company's needs.

Examining the Similarities Between LLPs and LLCs

For the most part, LLPs and LLCs are formed, structured, and treated the same. Each provides the partners with a "pass-through" option on their taxes, which allows them to avoid the "double taxation" that corporations are required to pay. LLCs and LLPs also handle partner buy-in and sell-out in a similar fashion, and neither has a limit on the number of partners that the business can have. Because of this, LLPs and LLCs have become quite popular among businesses that might have otherwise been forced to register as a corporation.

Understanding the Differences Between LLPs and LLCs

Although there are many similarities between LLPs and LLCs, there are also some distinct and important differences. First, an LLC does not offer partners the same level of liability protection as an LLP, should a lawsuit or some other legal action take place. Instead, all partners may be held equally accountable in an LLC. In contrast, an LLP is only required to have one managerial partner. All others can receive protection from the actions of managerial partners, provided they do not take on a managerial role themselves.

Business owners should also understand that they cannot always structure the company however they want. Some states have specific restrictions. For example, Illinois does not permit banking or insurance institutions to form LLCs. Instead, they must structure as either a corporation or an LLP.

Contact Our Wheaton Business Law Attorneys

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the difficult decisions that start-up businesses must make, such as those that pertain to business structure. Dedicated and experienced, our Wheaton business law attorneys can assist you and your partners in making the most sensible choice for your company. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your personalized consultation today.





Encouraging and Protecting Diversity in the Workplace

Illinois business law attorneysDiversity in the workplace can offer varying perspectives, improve the company's image, and may even result in capital gains. However, many businesses struggle to achieve true diversity and those that do often struggle to protect it. Do things differently, avoid litigation, and ultimately improve your company's chances of success with help from the following.

Why Diversity is So Important

At first glance, diversity may not seem like the most important aspect of running a business. Instead, most owners focus their attention on things like recruiting experts in their field, reducing overhead costs, and creating a platform from which they can market – and yet these aspects of running a business often come naturally for those that support diversity. As an example, a business that strives to maintain ethnic diversity in the workplace may have a better understanding of cultural differences that may impact their sales and marketing strategies.

Encouraging Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is rarely accidental. Instead, it is done with intention. A business owner must consider what other groups of people can bring to the table. They must be willing to look at the cold, hard facts. They must look beyond the resume, and they cannot be swayed by charisma. Experience may become less about the jobs that a prospective employee has worked, and may become more about the potential. For example, you might consider hiring the white, male applicant with years of experience, but do not discount the homemaker that has spent the last ten years caring for her children.

Though the latter may need more training to ensure she is up to speed, she might also be better at multitasking than your male applicant. She may also have knowledge and experience that is difficult to communicate on a resume. Perhaps she has used accounting software and spreadsheets to maintain her household budgets and has some ideas on how your company could better utilize them. In short, before you hire anyone, be willing to ask probing questions, and always look at the whole picture – not just what is on the resume.

Protecting Diversity in the Workplace

Once you have achieved diversity in the workplace – or are well on your way – it is crucial that you know how to protect it. Workplace harassment, discrimination, resistance to change, and other challenges may arise along the way. Some of these issues could lead to a loss of valuable employees. Others may result in litigation. To decrease your risk of experiencing such consequences within your company, consider implementing the following:

  • Anti-discrimination policies;
  • Anti-harassment policies;
  • Equal pay for all same-skill/same-job employees;
  • An open-door policy for reporting harassment and discrimination;
  • Policies that clearly and concisely convey the consequences of workplace harassment;
  • Managerial training on workplace harassment; and
  • Swift and attentive handling of all harassment complaints.

Contact Our DuPage County Business Law Attorneys

If your company is striving for diversity in the workplace and you need assistance with developing policies, employment contracts, and other anti-harassment procedures, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for assistance. Our DuPage County business law attorneys can work with you to determine your goals, assist you in creating legally binding contracts and policies, and examine any situation involving potential litigation to ensure you have the support you need. Schedule your consultation by calling 630-665-2500 today.


Essential Elements in a Breach of Contract Case

DuPage County business law attorneysTypically made between two or more consenting parties, companies, or entities, contracts may be used during sales and purchase transactions, and for jobs or services rendered. They may also be used when hiring an employee, freelance worker, or contractor. At their core, they are a legally binding and enforceable promise – but only if all required elements are present. Lack of even just one element can render the contract null and void. Learn more about the essential elements of a contract, and what it takes to enforce one through a breach of contract case, with help from the following information.

What Makes a Contract Valid?

Before there can be a breach of contract, there must first be a valid contract. What, exactly, makes a contract valid? First, there must be an offer, or the intent to enter a contract. Second, there must be an acceptance of the contract's terms. This acceptance does not have to be in writing, but oral contracts can be difficult to prove. As such, contracts should be written using clear and concise language. The last element of a valid contract is a consideration or the giving and receiving of something of value. One-sided contracts are not typically enforceable, nor are contracts that cover a prior service or transaction.

A Breach of the Contract Terms

If contracts are promises, then breaches are the breaking of that pledge. For example, if an employer fails to deliver results outlined in their contract (perhaps terminating an employee before the agreed upon term of employment has ended), the employee may then have the right to pursue a breach of contract case. However, not all aspects of a contract may be considered legally enforceable. Instead, most breaches of contract cases involve harm to one of the involved parties. Using the example of the terminated employee, damages might include loss of employment and income.

Pursing Damages for a Breach of Contract

Harmed parties in a breach of contract case may pursue damages, for any losses they experienced in the breaking of the contractual promise. Further, they may also request compensation for anticipatory losses, such as the earnings that an employee should have earned during the contract period. Of course, every situation is unique, and the outcome of a case may be primarily impacted by how effective a wronged party is at proving their losses (burden of proof). As such, it is highly recommended that individuals seek legal assistance when pursuing a breach of contract case.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we have the skills and experience needed to both protect your business from breach of contract lawsuits before they occur, represent you if they do, and ensure other contracts, such as non-competes, are complied with by your employees. Committed to your best interest, our DuPage County business law attorneys can suit all your company’s needs. Schedule your consultation to learn more about how we can guide your company. Call 630-665-2500 today.