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Lombard business law attorneys, new businessStarting your own business means making a lot of tough and important choices. One of your first choices will be deciding how to structure your business—meaning, you need to determine your business’s entity. Interestingly enough, this is also one of the most critical decisions you make; how you and the business will be taxed, your personal liability, and even the type and amount of paperwork you will be required to do will all be based upon your company’s structure. How do you decide? The following can help.

Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is one of the most common business structures, partly because it is the least complex to start, form, and run. There are some pretty major limitations and pitfalls to this structure, however. For example, a sole proprietorship can only have one owner. As the business owner, you also assume responsibility for all financial obligations and taxation for the business. If you make a mistake, you really do not have anything to fall back on. If the business goes under, you may be required to file for bankruptcy to avoid complete financial devastation.

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Arlington Heights business law attorneys, overtime lawFederal law recently placed a new law on overtime pay, and it has a lot of businesses in Illinois scrambling to figure out how they will accommodate. For many, the issue relates to their salaried employees, such as managers and supervisors. The big concern is that employees may attempt to rack up hours to get extra pay—extra pay that some small business owners may not be able to afford. Learn more about this new law, how it may apply to your business, and what you can do to try and mitigate the impact.

Understanding the New Law

Passed under the Obama administration, the new law applies to nearly all salaried employees making less than $47,476 per year. Their employers must now offer overtime pay (time-and-a-half) for any work hours exceeding the 40 hour full-time hour limit. Some 4.2 million workers are expected to be eligible.

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harassment claim, Arlington Heights business law attorneysFederal law prohibits discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. If it does occur, then employees can file a complaint internally, at their company, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or with the courts to pursue a lawsuit. Consider the following information regarding how you may be able to help protect your business against a harassment or discrimination claim as well as key details on where to find help.

When a Complaint is Filed Internally

Complaints filed internally may seem like an annoyance, but they can be a blessing in disguise. They give you a chance to handle matters quickly, efficiently, and with as little fanfare as possible. However, you must handle the matter seriously. You cannot conduct a sloppy investigation. You must make sound decisions, and you should treat the victim with empathy. An experienced attorney can guide and advise you in this process.

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Arlington Heights business law attorneys, non-compete employee contractsAs the world changed its calendars, Illinois enacted several new laws. Some apply to business owners and their employees. Among them is the change to the non-compete agreements. Now limited in their use, failure to adhere to the new guidelines could place your business at risk for litigation. Learn what these new limitations are, how they might apply to your business, and what you can do to ensure you are compliant.

Non-competes and Low-Wage Employees

Last year, a sandwich restaurant food chain made headlines because of their non-compete agreements. Their employees, who made only minimum wage, were restricted from working at any other establishment that made its primary income from sandwiches. Signed upon their hire, these agreements lasted for at least two years after an employee’s quit or termination date. Ultimately, a lawsuit was brought against the company and they had to pay out a settlement, which is allegedly going to create outreach and education programs to improve better practices by employers throughout the state.

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Arlington Heights business law attorneys, terminating an employeeThere are several aspects to running or managing a business. The act of terminating an employee is one of more difficult and unpleasant. It is also a situation that could potentially put your business at risk for litigation. If you have started a business and need to terminate a problematic employee, the following information can help you stay within the legal guidelines. It can also ensure you know when and where you can find help, should you need it.

Do You Have the Legal Right to Terminate?

Illinois is an “at-will” employment state, which means you do not need to have a reason or cause for terminating an employee. Yet there are some legal pitfalls that you, as an employer, must be aware of. You cannot terminate an employee for reasons that relate to their age, race, religion, or gender. Employers are also prohibited from terminating an employee for taking family leave, military leave, or time off for jury duty. Whistleblowers are also protected by law.

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