Give Your Business a Legal Checkup

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  Few places is that more evident than in the field of law, where taking proper measures to protect one's interests preeminently can ward off potentially messy situations down the road. Specifically, businesses that spend the time and resources to properly protect their interests before problems arise can limit their exposure to liabilities and lawsuits in the future.

New Overtime Rules Set to Affect Many Small Businesses

Overtime protections were first put into place by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and established the general standard that workers be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week.  In general, all hourly employees are guaranteed overtime, and salaried employees are presumed to have the same guarantee unless they both: (1) make more than a salary threshold set by the Department of Labor, and (2) pass a test demonstrating that they primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. 


Employee or Independent Contractor? Misclassification Can Be Costly

The prospect of hiring workers, while exciting, can be intimidating to new business owners, Employment law can be a confusing and time-consuming minefield, and the consequences of making a mistake can range from costly to financially devastating. Generally, employers must consider a number of new responsibilities, including withholding income taxes, paying Social Security and Medicare taxes,unemployment tax and insurance not to mention the bevy of registration and compliance requirements at the local, state and federal level. 

employee vs contractor

Illinois Land Trusts Explained

In Illinois, individuals have a unique option for holding title to real estate not otherwise available to individuals in the vast majority of other states. The Illinois Land Trust is a creation of common law, though now is governed by a number of Illinois statutes. While less common these days than it has been at times in the past, Illinois Land Trusts can be effective estate planning tools in certain situations.

blue and yellow house

General Partnership vs. Limited Partnership: What's the Difference?

A general partnership is the simplest form of business organization involving more than one person and it is widely used today by a variety of businesses. Formation of a general partnership is easy. All that is needed is an agreement-whether written or oral, or even a handshake- that two or more individuals will carry on business for profit. Of course, a general partnership can be formed by written agreement which then governs the relationship of the partners.

partners shaking hands

12 Issues to Consider When Leasing a Commercial Office Space

New business owners typically need to find a commercial space out of which to run their company. In today’s economy, there is no shortage of options, especially in Midwest cities hit particularly hard by the downturn (I’m looking at you Milwaukee). But, finding the space best suited for the new business is just the beginning. Once a space is found, it will be necessary to sign a lease for the space, and this is where any new business owner needs to pay close attention to what he is and is not agreeing to.

man signing document

Estimated Taxes: What New Business Owners Need to Know

As a new business owner you have myriad things to worry about, but perhaps none cause more headaches than taxes. From itemized deductions to self-employment tax, to payroll taxes for those small businesses with employees, issues of taxation are commonplace and worries can be a plenty. But, there is perhaps one tax issue that has a tendency to catch even the most financially-inclined new business owner by surprise- estimated taxes.

money with calculator

10 Steps to Give Your Business a Legal Kickstart

So you have a great new idea or a way to improve on an existing one, but what now? Starting a business is no easy task and the requirements to do it correctly can seem overwhelming. But, while there are a number of local, state and federal requirements to formally create the business structure and get off the ground, with some guidance and a little organization you can be up and running in no time. Here are 10 legal areas to consider when launching your business.



10 Steps to start a business

5 Basics About Buy-Sell Agreements

When starting a business, having a partner brings some obvious benefits over going it alone, but what happens if both individuals decide to eventual go their separate ways or one faces a life-altering event or death? A buy-sell agreement can plan for any of those happenings, among a long list of others. In general terms, a buy-sell agreement is an agreement between the owners of the business that, upon the occurrence of a triggering event, a departing owner will sell his interest in the business to the remaining owner based upon pre-determined terms.



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