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Family-owned businesses are, for many, embodiment of the “American Dream.” Opening a company with the intention of passing it down for generations to come can be both exhilarating and highly profitable. There are, however, certain events that could throw the proverbial wrench into the gears of your long-term plans, and some are not even business- or industry-related.
As a business law attorney, I understand that a divorce between spouses who own or run a business together can be spell major trouble for the company. Due to the complex nature of the proceedings, it is important to have the advice
Continue Reading How a Divorce Can Affect Your Family Business

Entrepreneurial inventors are part of a unique class of small business owners. Not only are they responsible for the creation of the product that they sell, but often they must take care of the front-end business management responsibilities and costs. Though an individual may have a brilliant idea, getting the idea turned into a tangible and marketable product can cost a lot of money and take years to come to fruition.
As a small business law attorney and business owner, I understand the struggles that many entrepreneurs face. To that end, I have a few tips for small business entrepreneurial
Continue Reading Protecting Yourself as an Entrepreneurial Inventor

Have you ever thought of a unique product or service that might provide the basis for a profitable business? Or maybe, you observed the manner in which an existing company offers a particular product or service and thought you could dramatically improve on it. No matter where the creative spark is born, an idea for a product, service, or new company must be carefully analyzed and researched before jumping with both feet into full-scale sales. Along the way, a qualified business attorney can help you identify and address potential concerns, leaving you free to focus on developing your concept.
Continue Reading 4 Tips for Creating a Winning Business Idea

Within the realm of estate planning, there are many terms and phrases that can be very confusing to the average person. At times, it can feel like planning for your family’s future requires learning a new language altogether, just so you can know what tools and instruments to utilize. Most people are familiar with the idea of a will and have probably heard of trusts. But, did you know that wills and trusts are used in conjunction with one another in a comprehensive estate plan?
As an experienced estate planning lawyer, I understand the importance of teaching my clients
Continue Reading What Is a Pour-Over Will and How Does It Work?

No matter what your chosen industry may be, your customers or clients represent the very reason for your company’s existence. If there was no one to buy your products or services, offering them would be completely pointless. For many business owners, including a large number of my clients, offering world-class customer service is a top priority, which helps to build client relationships and improve customer satisfaction. When a customer relationship sours, however, it can be very easy to take the situation personally, especially if the customer takes his or her concerns to the internet. It is important to understand
Continue Reading Keep Negative Online Reviews in Perspective

For a first-time business owner, the prospect of buying a business can be quite overwhelming. You may not be certain where to start, what to do next, or even if you are making the right choice. That is why it is so important to work closely with an experienced business lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can help you ensure that you have considered all of the necessary details and put in the best position for long-term success. As you consider your options for buying a business, there are very important things you should be keeping at the forefront of your mind.
Continue Reading 3 Important Considerations for Those Considering Buying a Business

If you have taken the time to develop an estate plan, you are already ahead of about half of all Americans. In creating an estate plan, you have recognized the importance of planning for the future. Of course, estate planning means more than just deciding who will get which of your assets upon your death; the process can also help ensure that provisions are in place for a time when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
As an experienced estate planning lawyer, I applaud those who have taken the necessary steps to secure their future and that
Continue Reading The Importance of Keeping Your Estate Plan Up to Date

Brand development and recognition are crucial components of any successful business. For many business owners, building a recognizable brand involves creating visually appealing logos, insignias, or other images that current and prospective customers can associate with you and your products. These images can legally be linked to your brand by securing trademark protections afforded by the federal government.
Sometimes, however, another individual or company will create a logo or image that is similar enough to yours that create customer confusion regarding the two brands. Legal action may be necessary to clear up the potential confusion, and such action sometimes takes
Continue Reading How Can I Protect My Trademark From Dilution?

A will is the foundation for almost any comprehensive estate plan. As you probably realize your will can contain a variety of provisions that allocate your estate to your chosen heirs, as well as establish arrangements for the care of your minor or disabled children. One of the most crucial elements of your will is your selection of an executor. Under Illinois, your executor is responsible for overseeing your estate and, ultimately, ensuring that your wishes are carried out regarding your property and assets.
In my practice as an estate planning lawyer, many clients have asked me about changing
Continue Reading When Should I Consider Naming a New Executor?

When you own a successful business, you have a number of options regarding how to keep your company growing. You could create an outlet for internet sales, expand your current physical location or open a second one. If you already have several locations or you believe that the day-to-day operations of multiple sites is not something you are interested in doing, you may want to consider franchising your business. Franchising may be an especially attractive idea if you have established your company’s name a local or regional leader in your industry.
In my practice as a business planning attorney,
Continue Reading Growing Your Company: Is Franchising the Next Step?

Building a successful business requires you to invest tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money, often at great personal sacrifice. It is understandable, and even admirable, that you would wish to protect those investments in every way possible. For this reason, you may be considering having some or all of your employees sign a non-compete agreement so they cannot take what they have learned from your company and use it in competition against you for a period of time following the end of their employment with you. I am asked about non-compete agreements on a regular basis in my practice,
Continue Reading Should I Have My Employees Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?

On Tuesday, the second day of the Democratic National Convention, former Vice President Joe Biden was officially nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the upcoming election in November. The nomination comes as no surprise, since Biden’s last remaining primary opponent,  Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, suspended his own bid for the presidency in early April. Biden, along with his running mate Senator Kamala Harris of California, hopes to unseat President Donald Trump who is finishing his first term in office.
Over the last few weeks, as it was clear that Mr. Biden was getting the Democratic nod, many
Continue Reading What Will Happen to My Tax Obligations if Joe Biden is Elected President?

Are you tired of working hard so that someone else can earn a few extra dollars in profit? Would it not be more gratifying if your extra hard work resulted in more money in your own pocket instead? Almost everyone who has ever punched a clock has dreamed of opening his or her own business one day, yet only a small percentage ever take the leap and make their dreams a reality.
In my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped hundreds of prospective business owners objectively analyze their situations to determine if starting a new company would be
Continue Reading Should I Open My Own Business?

As uncomfortable as it may be for many people to think about what will happen to their property and assets after their death, estate planning is crucial to providing loved ones with security and peace of mind. Sadly, when a loved one passes away, families are often fractured by disputes over the decedent’s estate, sometimes leading to years of tension between family members who were once very close. In some cases, a would-be beneficiary feels so slighted that he or she decides to initiate a will contest and take the matter the court.
In my practice as estate planning attorney
Continue Reading 5 Tips That Could Help You Avoid a Will Contest

When you own a company, you have probably invested a great deal in the products or services that you offer. Similarly, hiring, training, and professionally developing a team of employees requires significant investment as well. Across the country and around the world, however, employee theft and fraud present serious problems for small business owners, collectively costing companies billions of dollars. As a business law attorney, I understand the impact the actions of your staff can have on your business and my team can help you develop a strategy for deterring employee theft before it becomes a major issue for
Continue Reading 4 Tips on How to Prevent and Deter Employee Theft

Rationally, you know that you will not be able to continue running your business forever. Depending on your age, health, and passion for your work, you may be ready to step away from day-to-day operations sooner than later.
As an accomplished business law attorney, I have helped hundreds of clients start new companies with the hopes of being financially successful. From the very beginning, I encourage every aspiring entrepreneur to go into the process with a plan for getting out. Without an exit strategy, you could be leaving far too much to chance.
Three Possible Options
Thinking about how
Continue Reading Why You Should Develop an Exit Strategy from Your Business