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Arlington Heights business law attorneysWhen an individual purchases a business, they are not only buying the physical assets associated with that business. They are also taking ownership of more abstract assets like the existing customer base, the name and reputation of the business, and intellectual property. Understandably, someone who buys a business wants to ensure that the value of these intangible assets is not reduced because the original owner of the business is opening a competing business in the same market. This is just one of many situations in which a non-compete agreement can be beneficial.

How Does a Non-Compete Agreement Work?

Put simply, a non-compete agreement is a legally-binding contract involving a promise not to enter into business competition of some kind. Non-compete clauses are most often used to prevent an employee from working for a competitor or starting a business which competes with his or her employer’s business. These agreements can also include a provision prohibiting the employee from disclosing proprietary information to other parties. Non-compete agreements are often also required of business consultants and contractors.

Non-Compete Agreements Must Meet Certain Criteria to be Enforceable

Of course, a non-compete agreement cannot simply instruct an employee to never again work in a certain field. The scope and duration of a non-compete must be reasonable for the contract to be valid. Illinois courts have ruled that non-compete agreements are only valid if certain criteria is met. It is advised that any business utilizing a non-compete in Illinois provides employees with continuous employment for at least two years as well as additional consideration in the form of perks like bonuses or higher compensation.

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Illinois business law attorneyFamily businesses are a valuable part of the American economy and provide jobs for countless individuals. If you own a family business, you are probably well aware of the challenges and difficulties that go along with this unique and fulfilling lifestyle. One continued challenge that all business owners face is planning for the future of their business. They know that they will eventually need to choose a successor to take over the business when they retire who understands the business and can manage it in a way that brings continued success. There is no perfect way to choose a successor, but there are some guidelines that can help you make the most informed decision possible.

Develop a Future Plan Now

Even if you are years or decades away from stepping down as the head of your business, you should start preparing for the future now. It is unpleasant to think about, but unexpected illnesses and other unforeseen events happen to people every day. By creating a business succession plan now, you know that your business will be properly managed even if you are not around to do so yourself. Develop a comprehensive business plan which addresses your goals for the future as well as your current business strategies and daily operations.

Choosing a Successor Who Will Continue Your Legacy

One major decision you will need to make as a business owner is who should be your successor. It may be a good idea to keep several people in mind for this extremely important role so that you will have a back-up if something unexpected happens or your chosen successor does not decide to continue with the business.

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Arlington Heights business law attorneysMost employers avoid firing an employee until it becomes clear that the employee cannot adequately perform their job, or worse, the employee is harming the business. It can be very challenging to have to let an employee go. You may know that your employee struggles with financial issues or has a family to support, so you try to give them as many chances as you can. Unfortunately, there is sometimes no way around it and you have to bite the bullet and terminate an employee.

When you fire an employee, it is critical that you do so in a way which protects you and your business legally. One way that business owners make themselves vulnerable to a wrongful termination lawsuit is through messy employee terminations.

Not Having the Termination Meeting in Person

If you are a nonconfrontational person, you may consider firing an employee via email or on the phone. However, many experts highly recommend avoiding this shortcut. While it may be uncomfortable, firing an employee in person is the most respectful way to handle the situation. Even more importantly, an in-person meeting gives you the opportunity to make your message clear and answer any questions the employee has about the termination. You should always make sure that a terminated employee knows exactly what happened and why he or she was let go. This can be nearly impossible to do via electronic communication.

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Arlington Heights business transaction attorneysAre you thinking about buying a business? Being a business owner can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting career. However, the decision to buy a business is not something to take lightly. So, where does a person start when embarking on a new business venture? The first step for anyone considering purchasing a business or franchise should be to thoroughly research his or her different options. Guidance from a qualified Illinois business law attorney can be a tremendous asset during each part of the business buying process. As you consider your options for investing in a business, make sure to keep the following things in mind.

Independent Businesses Versus Franchise Locations

You will need to decide whether to purchase an already-existing location of a franchised company or an independent private business. There are benefits and disadvantages to both options. The decision about what type of business to buy will depend on what your personal aspirations and business objectives are. You should also consider what your professional strengths are, as well as your weaknesses.

Buying into a franchise can be prefect for those who wish to have direction, guidance, and training provided by the parent company. However, buying an existing franchise location also requires you to relinquish some decision-making power over your business and pay franchise royalties or fees. An independent, standalone business gives you more autonomy and direct control, but also comes without a proven operationals model or training from a parent company. 

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Posted on in Business Law

Arlington Heights business lawyerOwning a family business can be a tremendously positive influence in a person’s life. However, when a married couple who owns a business gets divorced, the process can become quite complicated. If you or your spouse own a family business and are considering divorce, you will most likely face additional obstacles that other divorcing couples do not face. Because of the complex nature of divorce involving a family business, it is highly recommended that you seek advice from a qualified legal professional.

Deciding Whether to Sell, Split, or Share the Business

Married couples who own a business have a few different options when they get divorced. Some couples choose to continue running the business together even after they are no longer legally married. While this may be the simplest option for some, other couples may not wish to continue as co-owners after getting divorced. Another option is for one spouse to buy the other spouse out. This can be a good decision when one spouse is already less involved in the business or wishes to pursue other career and business interests. Lastly, the couple can close the business or sell it.

Valuing the Business is Critical

Regardless of if you and your spouse choose to split the business or sell it, you will need to consult a financial professional who can value the business. It is especially important that this valuation is impartial and not unfairly biased toward one outcome or another. It is not necessary for each spouse to hire their own appraiser for business valuation. Neutral appraisers can advise a couple in this situation on a variety of issues including whether or not to consolidate your business to free up liquid assets. The American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers business evaluation training for certified public accountants. A CPA may be able to help you with valuing your business and making decisions about the future of your business.

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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