Articles Posted in Corporate-Business

Starting a Business in Illinois—Laws to Consider

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but there are many laws and regulations to consider when doing so. Illinois has many laws over how businesses should be formed and operated, and being aware of those laws will help you avoid pitfalls both now and in the future as you grow.

Permits, Licensing, and Registration

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Healthy businesses are constantly growing and changing, and those changes can necessitate alterations in the overall structure of the company. The time to make those changes depends on a variety of factors that may arise over the growth of your company, and it’s important to make those changes promptly in order to maintain efficiency within the organization as well as compliance with federal and state laws.

Changes in Management

As a company grows, so too will its leadership, and you may have to take on more people in order to fill important corporate leadership roles. The simplest example of this is if you are the sole proprietor of a business and decide to take on a partner. That will mean changing your entity type to a partnership or even an LLC, depending on the nature of your business.

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As a new business, among of the most valuable assets you have are your ideas—your intellectual property. IP is the primary impetus behind your growth since it represents the value you add to the market. Without an exclusive hold on your own offering, it’s easy to lose your place in the market along with the growth that accompanies it.

IP matters cover a wide range of intangible assets, not just patents, but those are highly important as well. Here, we’ll go over the various ways startups can keep their intellectual property carefully secured, whether that constitutes an invention, service, trade secret, or business methodology.

Filing a Patent

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When most people think of law, it’s usually the earthshaking, dramatic, and (sometimes) controversial legal battles that rage across courtrooms and make headlines in the media. However, in most cases, this isn’t what the practice of law looks like. Usually, it’s book work, research, and trying to keep massively expenses messes like what you’d see on television from ever happening—in essence, it’s preventative law.

While this may not seem like much, it’s actually very important for businesses. Anyone in a corporate setting needs to take the legal implications of what they do into account, and to do that, you need legal counsel.

Definition of Preventative Law

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There may not necessarily be a “best” way to govern a business-each company has its own market, client base, culture, and so forth, and corporate governance needs to be handled in a way that makes the most of the company’s specific situation. However, there are good practices and poor ones, and it’s only the good ones that really lead to any benefits for the company. In addition, there are many laws in place over how a business should be run, so good corporate governance will take those laws and regulations into account.

Strong corporate governance leads to numerous benefits for a company, and we’ll outline the main categories for these benefits below.

Increased Accountability

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Over the 4th of July weekend, the Illinois Senate finally passed a budget for the first time in three years. This budget contains a package of legislation that affects individual taxpayers and businesses alike. While it’s still a little early to determine exactly how this new legislation will impact companies throughout Illinois, one thing is certain—the way businesses handle taxes and other financial matters will be affected both this year and in years to come in various ways.

Tax Increases

On the downside, many businesses may now face higher tax liabilities as certain exemptions in Illinois tax law have been closed. These exemptions allowed companies to minimize their tax liability using various tactics, such as by producing their products domestically or by operating financial institutions outside of the state. These changes will ultimately cost Illinois companies millions in extra taxes.

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Business structures come in many forms, and each has its own specific purposes. Here, we’ll take a look at these structures to help you determine which one you should choose for your business.

Common Structures

First, let’s go over a few of the most common business structures. These include:

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Employment and labor litigation has become more common in recent years, and the most unfortunate part of that is the fact that many of these lawsuits can be prevented. Not only can many disputes be resolved outside of court with mediation or arbitration, there are numerous measures that employers can implement to either discourage lawsuits or eliminate legitimate legal concerns within their company. Here, we’ll go over a few tips for preventing employment litigation in your company.

1. Communicate Your Policies

Sound policies are key to making sure managers and supervisors are fully compliant with the law. However, just as important as having clear, legally sound policies in place is making sure they are properly communicated to personnel. This will ensure awareness of what is and is not allowed in the workplace while safeguarding yourself against potential litigation if something goes wrong.

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Under Illinois and federal law, an employer has a duty to their employees when it comes to ensuring a safe, healthy working environment. Issues such as discrimination or harassment can create a hostile work environment for employees, and as such are against the law. If your employer violates the labor and fair employment laws in Illinois, then litigation or dispute resolution may be in order.

There are several reasons why an employee may sue their employer, but it’s important to note first that there are scenarios when they cannot. Specifically, if an employee is injured on the job, they cannot sue their employer for their injury. Instead, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can pay for lost wages and medical expenses.

So when can an employee sue? The following sections will detail a few scenarios when litigation is an option.

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There are several steps to follow when forming a corporation. Most new corporations are aware of the need to file their articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State, and they likely have some inkling of the necessity of establishing bylaws. However, many businesses don’t put as much into company bylaws as perhaps they should since those don’t need to be officially filed anywhere. However, they are crucial to maintaining your corporate status over the long term and come with many important benefits for the company.

What Are Bylaws?

Your company bylaws are essentially a map of how your business will be run. It establishes rules for who does what, when they do it, and how. As such, they cover many aspects of corporate governance, including:

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