When Business Partnerships End – How to Survive a Business Divorce

Wheaton small business attorneysBusiness partnerships can end for all sorts of reasons. One of the partners may have a shift in their personal needs or goals (i.e. having a family, wanting to change industries, etc.). Other partnerships end over a matter of contention (unprofessional behavior, poorly job performance, etc.). Yet, regardless of the reasons, ending a partnership can be a complex process, and there are numerous pitfalls that can cost one or both parties a great deal of money. Learn how to mitigate against such issues, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you survive the end of your business partnership. 

Protecting Your Business Before the End of a Partnership

While partners do not typically enter a business together, thinking it will one day end, it is highly encouraged that they anticipate and effectively plan for its eventual end. Not only does this make ending the partnership easier, should the need arise, it can also protect the interests of the partners and ensure the continuity of the business. Additionally, partners are encouraged to revisit their original agreement when needs change or the company grows, as this can ensure the exit strategy always reflects the business’s most current goals, profits, and vested parties. 

Business Valuations and the End of a Partnership

While an exit strategy will typically address most matters involved with ending a business partnership, there are elements to the process that must still be completed. One such item is an accurate valuation of the business, which accounts for all the company’s debts, assets, and projected future profits. Partners are encouraged to seek their valuation from an appraiser that they can both agree upon, instead of just one partner simply choosing an appraiser, as this can minimize the risk of a slated valuation that benefits only one of the vested parties (i.e. inflating the company’s debts to keep more of the money within the business). 

Deciding How to End Your Business Partnership

There are numerous methods that partners can use to end their relationship, but most require that the business either buy out the exiting party completely or make scheduled payments at pre-determined times. Businesses that need to preserve money for growth or are still new may benefit most from scheduled payment increments. Those that have the ability to make a complete buyout may benefit more from simply dissolving the partner completely. In either case, it is critical that parties discuss their options and the potential ramifications with a seasoned legal professional, as there are pros and cons to each method. 

Contact Our Wheaton Business Law Attorneys

Whether you need assistance with developing an exit strategy at the start of your business or need help with dissolving a business partner, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to call. Backed by more than four decades of experience, our DuPage County small business lawyers work hard to protect the interests and financial futures of our clients. Start by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/191782

 

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/

 

Survey Says Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Future but There Are Still Concerns – How a Business Law Attorney Can Help Resolve Them

Illinois small business attorneysSmall businesses are the backbone of America's economy, but they are also the most susceptible to failure – and not just because they must compete against corporations and large chain stores. The recession hit everyone hard, but small businesses experienced mass closure and bankruptcy. Those that survived had to weather out the recession and hope that people would start spending money again. Now that it is happening, new and old small business owners say they are optimistic about their future, a recent survey said. However, there are still concerns. Learn what they are, how to mitigate them, and what an experienced business law attorney can help.

Small Businesses and the Nuances of Business Law

Laws change all the time – and that includes laws relating to business. Corporations typically have teams of attorneys to inform them of major changes that could impact their company. The same cannot be said for small business owners. Because of this, smaller businesses tend to be more susceptible to things like lawsuits (sometimes from patrons or consumers, but usually from employees), and they may struggle to ensure that they stay in compliance with some of the more complex employment law matters. In some instances, such as those relating to federal or state taxes, can place not just a business at risk, but also its owner.

Preventing and Fighting Against Lawsuits

Since small businesses are inherently more susceptible to lawsuits, it is critical that they take preventative measures whenever possible. Examples of such measures can include:

  • Hiring an experienced attorney to ensure that the business's employment handbook clearly and concisely outlines the employer's expectations;
  • Ensuring there are clear policies regarding in-office harassment and discrimination;
  • Developing a management training program that refreshes all supervisors on applicable harassment and discrimination;
  • Maintaining an open-door policy; and
  • Handling all reports of harassment and discrimination in a professional and diligent manner.

Sadly, even when taking such measures, small businesses remain at a higher risk of a lawsuit than other businesses. In the event that one is filed against your business, it is crucial that you know where to turn for guidance, assistance, and aggressive representation.

Contact Our DuPage County Business Law Attorneys

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the challenges that small businesses face because we, too, are a small business. Dedicated to ensuring your company thrives, now and for years to come, our DuPage County business law attorneys can help you protect your business from lawsuits through preventative measures. When aggressive representation is needed to fight against a suit, we put our knowledge and skills to work for you. Call 630-225-2500 and schedule a consultation to get started.

Source:

http://nprillinois.org/post/small-business-owners-more-optimistic-survey-says#stream/0