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. 



Non-Compete Agreements and the Illinois Freedom to Work Act: What Business Owners Need to Know

Wheaton IL business law attorneysNon-compete agreements, which prohibit employees from engaging in certain acts with their employer's competitors, are going to see some important changes, come 2017. If you are a business owner in Illinois, it is critical that you know what these changes are, how they could affect your business, and what you can do to protect yourself if you should face an issue involving a non-compete agreement. The following information can help.

Illinois Freedom to Work Act

Set to take effect January 1, 2017, the Illinois Freedom to Work act stems from a lawsuit brought against an Illinois sandwich shop food chain by the state's Attorney General. Workers were required to sign a non-compete agreement that restricted them from working with another sandwich shop (or restaurants that served like products) for the duration of their employment and at least two years after. The concern was that these employees, who were generally paid minimum wage, could not reasonably support their families with the restrictions that were imposed by the non-compete agreement.

The new law is designed to prevent such issues among "low wage" employees. They are defined as those who make the greater of:

  • Federal, state, or local minimum wage,
  • A wage that is below $13.00 per hour.

Because the current federal, state, and local minimum wages are lower than $13.00, this amount is currently the operative figure for businesses and their employees. If your employees make below this amount, you will no longer be able to legally impose non-compete agreements on them.

How the Changes Could Affect Your Business

Businesses have seen a lot of legal changes over the last few years. The recent changes to non-compete agreements and a requirement that businesses now give their employees the chance to earn paid leave is just a couple of examples. When you add up all of these changes, they can mean serious trouble for businesses in Illinois. Small businesses may be especially at risk. With more changes likely to surface in the coming years, it has become an era in which all businesses – large and small – need to know where they can turn to for sound legal advice and assistance.

Contact Our Wheaton, IL Business Law Attorneys

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield and McGrath, LLC, we help small and large businesses avoid costly legal mistakes. As dedicated advocates, we also represent them when a dispute arises. We even assist with non-compete agreements, and will continue to do so for those that still qualify.  So, whether you an aggressive advocate in a pending lawsuit, want guidance in creating employee contracts and handbooks, or simply need assistance in setting up your new business, our Wheaton, IL business law attorneys can help. Schedule your consultation and get the seasoned legal assistance you need. Call 630-665-2500 today.



New Year, New Employment Law Changes in Illinois

employment law changes, DuPage County Business Law AttorneyJanuary 3rd brought changes to the Illinois’ Unemployment Insurance Act, with these changes reflecting compromises made between both employee and business groups. Included in these changes are an expansion of the type of actions which could result in the termination of an employee's right to collect unemployment benefits, as well as reinstituting the rights of seniors who are laid off to collect unemployment benefits.

Under the prior version of the Act, the misconduct of an employee which would terminate his or her right to unemployment benefits was only defined as "the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy." However, under the new rules, misconduct may now be defined as:

  • Providing false information in an employment application;
  • Consuming alcohol or illegal drugs while on the job;
  • Putting themselves and/or their coworkers in danger by grossly negligent behavior;
  • Causing damage to the employer's property by grossly negligent behavior;
  • Failure to maintain all required certifications, licenses, or registrations as required by the employer;
  • Consistently violating the employer's written attendance policies; and
  • Refusal to follow the employer's lawful and reasonable instructions (exception being the employee's refusal is based on his or her lack of ability training or skills, or to do so would result in an unsafe act).

Those in favor of the new changes—including the governor's office—say that these changes will not only help to deter fraud against the Illinois unemployment benefits system, but will also do away with a $470 million tax increase, as well as a $300 million benefit reduction which were scheduled to take place.

Additional changes to the Act will now allow those laid off workers who are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits to now receive their full unemployment benefit amount. Until now, the state would deduct half of the amount of the claimants Social Security benefit from their unemployment benefit amount. This change will mean an additional $25 million in unemployment benefits to seniors.

With both federal and state employment laws constantly changing and evolving, it is important to have the representation on a skilled DuPage County business law attorney. Call the Law Office of Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC 630-665-2500 to schedule a consultation today.