Gierach Business Law Blog

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Illinois business owners know the importance of retaining a lawyer for formation and start-up, as well as drafting and reviewing contracts. Not as many realize how critical it is to have access to general counsel on a regular basis. Some stakeholders may only reach out to an attorney after an issue has emerged, at which point they need to develop a relationship very quickly and get that person up to speed regarding the organization.
While it is not practical for all companies to have an in-house legal department, there are numerous benefits for working with an Illinois business lawyer who
Continue Reading Four Reasons Your Illinois Business Needs General Counsel Services

If you own a business that relies on customers coming into your building—such as a bar, restaurant, retail establishment, or even professional practice with a waiting area—you probably have music playing at least sometimes. Maybe you have a radio that plays a particular local station for background music, or perhaps you use a streaming service like Spotify or Pandora to match the preferences of your customers more directly. If your business is a bar or a nightclub, your entertainment lineup might include live cover bands and karaoke.
Copyright laws in the United States generally apply to the public performance of
Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Licensing Music for Your Business

If you are like most employers, firing an employee is an experience you would like to avoid at all costs. Termination can be challenging not only on a personal level but on a professional level as well. If the proper steps are not taken to justify an employee’s termination, he or she could potentially bring a successful wrongful termination lawsuit against you. As a result of the claim, you may suffer irreparable harm to your business’s reputation and be required to pay expensive damages. The best way to ensure that you are in compliance with federal and state law
Continue Reading 3 Things You Should Remember When Terminating an Employee

If you are a business owner, employee concerns may take up a great deal of your time. One employee issue that has made many headlines in the past several years is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If an employee reports sexual harassment and an employer does not properly address the problem, the employer can be liable for damages to the employee and may subject to other negative consequences. Now that more and more people are working from home, it may seem as if
Continue Reading Preventing Sexual Harassment Is Crucial Even When Employees Are Working From Home

Some people knew that they wanted to one day own a business when they were in elementary school. For others, the dream of business ownership came later in life. Buying a franchise is a great way to become a business owner while still benefiting from the guidance and leadership of a franchisor. Franchise owners have the huge advantage of buying into an existing business model and receiving ongoing assistance from the parent company. However, success is not guaranteed. It is essential that anyone thinking about purchasing a franchise do their proper due diligence. Without thoroughly researching your options, you may
Continue Reading Why Is Due Diligence Important When Deciding to Become a Franchise Owner?

If you are an entrepreneur interested in starting a business, your mind is probably racing with ideas and possibilities. One of the most important things you can do to start your business off on the right foot is to create a detailed business plan. As the old saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This statement is especially true in the business world. Approximately 80 percent of new businesses fail within their first year and a half. In order to give yourself the best chances possible of success, ensure that your business plan is realistic, thorough, and
Continue Reading 3 Tips for Writing a High-Quality Business Plan

Running a small business is no easy task. Not only do you need to offer a unique product or service, abide by all tax laws, and cover the cost of your overhead, but you must also ensure your employees are happy. To accomplish this, you need to know how to pay them properly. For most employees, this means offering them competitive hourly wages. Regarding sales staff, however, there are generally two types of compensation: salary and incentive, and determining which one is right for your business can be a tough choice.
Laws May Dictate Your Decision
Ideally, you want to
Continue Reading Should I Offer My Sales Staff Salary or Incentive-Based Pay?

Well-written business contracts are the backbone of a successful business. If you own a business, you may deal with sales-related contracts such as purchase orders, bills of sale, and warranties. You probably manage employment contracts such as employee agreements, independent contractor agreements, confidentiality agreements, and non-compete agreements, as well. Whatever types of contracts your business uses, it is essential that these contracts be written accurately and in a way that makes them legally enforceable. It is easy to make a mistake in a contract that changes the nature of the contract or renders it unusable.
Avoid These Pitfalls During the
Continue Reading 4 Common Mistakes Business Owners Make When Drafting Contracts

Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Foursquare, and a host of other websites allow customers to leave reviews about the businesses they frequent. While customer feedback is a valuable resource for any business owner, online review websites are also vulnerable to misuse. A person can leave a review for a business even if he or she has never interacted with the company. In addition, there is little stopping customers from posting reviews that are completely unfounded. If you are a business owner, you should be aware of how online reviews can affect your business and how to
Continue Reading How Fake and Exaggerated Online Reviews Can Affect Small Businesses

Business contracts are some of the most important elements of a successful business. However, when one party does not uphold its end of a business agreement, the other party can suffer considerable harm. A breach of contract occurs when one party does not fulfill the obligation it agreed to in a contract and the non-breaching party, or injured party, suffered financial harm as a result. The breaching party may be required to “remedy” the situation though one of several means. If your business has suffered due to a breach of contract, speak to an experienced Naperville business lawyer to learn
Continue Reading What Are the Possible Remedies for a Breach of Contract?

When you think about the type of security your business needs, your first thoughts may turn to installing surveillance cameras or an identification card entry system. Of course, these kinds of physical measures can help you protect your company, particularly if you own a retail outlet or run an office that works with sensitive information. What about your more intangible security concerns? How can you protect ideas, works, designs, symbols, logos, and other intellectual property?
In my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped many entrepreneurs and business owners register for trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of
Continue Reading Naperville Business Attorney Discusses Trademarks and Copyright Protection

For an entrepreneur, one of the most important decisions to be made in the early stages of business ownership is the selection of an appropriate business entity structure. With a number of options from which to choose, deciding on the best one requires careful consideration of the advantages and potential drawbacks of each, as well as the associated legal requirements or restrictions. Many business owners find that structuring as a limited liability company, or LLC, offers an ideal balance between risk and reward.
An LLC is Not Necessarily a Corporation
One of the most common misconceptions regarding LLCs is
Continue Reading Naperville Business Attorney Addresses Advantages of an LLC

Throughout the business world, there are many stories of family-owned companies that started small and grew to become social and corporate icons. Famous examples include The H.J. Heinz Company, S.C. Johnson, and the Ford Motor Company. However, owning and running a family business can be extremely challenging, and determining appropriate roles within the company for family members is often particularly difficult. Several of my clients recently addressed this very topic with me, so here are few things to keep in mind as you work toward the success of your family business.
An estimated 60 percent of family-owned businesses fail or
Continue Reading Naperville Small Business Attorney Discusses Potential Family Business Hazards

Your path to success in a business venture begins long before your ever open your doors to the public. For most entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, the journey begins with an idea for a new product or service, or a variation of an existing one. A raw concept, however, is rarely a sufficient foundation upon which to build your investment; it must be developed, reviewed, amended, and tested. Then, the cycle should be repeated several times as the idea gradually transforms into a legitimate business plan or strategy.
During the process, you and your team should also be conducting market
Continue Reading The Basics of Market Research from a Naperville Business Attorney

Family 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
Continue Reading Naperville Business Lawyer on Choosing Your Business Successor

In my experience as a business law attorney, I have seen many well-intentioned employers make mistakes that cost them dearly. One of the most common mistakes that employers fall victim to is misclassification of workers. There are major differences in the rights and responsibilities associated with employees versus independent contractors. If you classify a worker as an independent contractor and he or she is actually an employee, you could be subject to a number of financial penalties and costs. The best way to ensure that you are not breaking any employment laws through worker misclassification is to consult with
Continue Reading Naperville Business Law Attorney Warns Against Misclassifying Workers