Finding an attorney who is a “real person” can be difficult. Many attorneys surround themselves almost exclusively with other attorneys and are accustomed to speaking in ivory tower legalese. You should be able to connect with your attorney on a personal level, and he or she should speak to you in plain language that you can understand. You will be working very closely with this person on issues that are very important to you. It is important that he or she be down-to-earth and someone that you connect with.
The most common complaint that clients have of their attorneys is that the attorney is unreachable, does not communicate with them regularly, or does not promptly return your calls. Your attorney should reach out to you about your case regularly and respond within 24 hours to calls and e-mails. An open line of communication between you and your attorney is essential to building trust.
Your attorney’s goal should not be to win at all costs. Rather, it should be to achieve a favorable outcome for you as efficiently as possible. It is important that your attorney set realistic expectations at the outset as to the costs you should expect, the concerns that the attorney has about the outcome of your case, and the length of time that you should expect your case to take.
Regardless of the nature of your case, we have an experienced attorney who will focus on your individual needs. Our team of attorneys works closely together, bringing each of their different fields of experience to bear in order to optimize our client care.
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110 E. Schiller St., Ste. 200B
Elmhurst, IL 60126
I am personally committed to ensuring that each one of our clients receives the highest level of client service from our team. Our mission is to provide excellent legal work in a cost-effective manner while maintaining open lines of communication between our clients and their attorneys. Many of our clients are going through difficult times in their lives when they reach out to us. They should feel comfortable leaning on the experience and knowledge of our attorneys as their counselors and advocates. We are here to help!
In this video, our Elmhurst business attorneys explain that as a business owner it is important to have a trusted relationship with your business attorney. You should always feel comfortable calling or e-mailing your attorney at any time. Here are a few situations where it is advisable to consult your business attorney:
1. Incorporating Your Business: The very first step you should take when you are starting a new business is to talk to your business attorney about incorporation. Our Elmhurst corporate attorneys will advise you on the advantages of incorporating, such as liability protection and self-employment tax savings. We will also educate you on the most advantageous corporate form for your business, including the difference between LLCs and S-Corps. Our Elmhurst corporate attorneys will make sure that you have followed all of the required corporate formalities necessary to make your corporation effective, work with you to prepare bylaws and operating agreements, obtain an EIN number for your business, file your S-Corp election, and make sure that you are registered with the proper state governmental agencies.
2. Annual Maintenance: Our Elmhurst business attorneys will prepare and file your Annual Report with the Secretary of State and prepare your Annual Meeting Minutes for Shareholders and Directors, as well as ensure that you comply with notice requirements for annual meetings. Even if you are a single-shareholder corporation or LLC, Annual Meeting Minutes are important in order to be able to show that you have been following corporate formalities. If you fail to do so, your corporation may fail to protect your personal assets from corporate liabilities.
3. Contract Drafting & Review: The best way to protect yourself from costly disputes and litigation is to have a well drafted contract with anyone with whom you do business, including your customers, employees & independent contractors, landlord, and third party vendors. Our Elmhurst contract attorneys can assist you in preparing asset purchase agreements; stock purchase agreements; leases, non-disclosure agreement, non-compete agreements, and non-disparagement agreements; general contractor agreements & subcontractor agreements; customer contracts; employee contracts; and independent contractor agreements. Having a well drafted contract that protects your interests and contains clear language is much more cost-effective than dealing with disputes based on ambiguity or lack of a contract down the road.
4. Employee and Independent Contractor Issues: Before you hire your first employee or independent contractor, you should meet with your attorney to help you navigate the many issues surrounding employment. Our Elmhurst business lawyers will assist you in getting registered with the required governmental agencies, obtaining the proper insurance, and preparing employee handbooks & employment agreements. We will also counsel you on whether to structure the relationship as an employee relationship or an independent contractor relationship, and prepare independent contractor agreements to ensure that you are protected from liability. If you are having issues with an employee, thinking of terminating an employee or independent contractor, or if an employee resigns, you should call your attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself against wrongful discharge and unemployment insurance claims.
5. Intellectual Property, Trademark, and Copyright: You put a lot of effort and creativity into making your brand recognizable. We can help you trademark your name, logo, and slogan to ensure that you have the continued exclusive right to your brand. If you have created a process or creative work, our Elmhurst intellectual property attorneys will assist you in filing a copyright application to ensure that you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
6. Business Purchases & Sales: If you are buying or selling a business, or merging with another company, it is important to have an attorney involved from the outset to ensure that you receive the benefit of your bargain. Our Elmhurst business attorneys will help you negotiate the best deal possible, draft or review the asset purchase agreement or stock purchase agreement, shepherd the transaction from Letter of Intent to closing, and assist you in dealing with any post-closing issues that may arise.
7. Rewarding Key Employees & Executives: When your business is running smoothly, you may want to either provide key employees with a pathway to ownership or reward them in other ways, such as profit sharing incentive plans, in order to retain them and keep them motivated. We can help you creatively structure long-term plans and agreements for key employees and executives.
8. Business Disputes: Unlike many business attorneys who are purely transactional, our team of Elmhurst attorneys has extensive experience in commercial litigation and contract litigation. If you have a dispute with an employee or independent contractor, a customer, your landlord, or a business partner, we will aggressively fight to protect your rights. We can also help you put a collection process in place to ensure that your accounts receivable are paid. Many disputes can be resolved with a demand letter from your attorney laying out your position and phone negotiation to resolve the issue. Should settlement not be possible, we will ensure that your business is protected in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The earlier you get your attorney involved in a potential dispute, the greater your chances for an early favorable resolution.
9. Exit Strategies: You should begin thinking about your exit strategy as soon as you start your business. Whether you intend to sell your business, bring in a partner over time, or transfer the business over time to a key employee or family member, the sooner you meet with an attorney to define your strategy and begin planning to execute it, the more options you will have.
10. Estate Planning: You should work with your attorney in order to ensure that your business will pass to your loved ones intact and not be consumed by estate tax or costly probate. A good personal estate plan will be specially tailored to fit your circumstances as an entrepreneur and business owner, and make sure that the right person is in control of your business should you become mentally incompetent or pass away. Our team of Elmhurst attorneys has experience in estate planning as well as business law, which makes us uniquely qualified to provide the comprehensive personal and business advice that you as a business owner need.
In this video, our Elmhurst business attorneys emphasis how it is important that you work closely with a business attorney when incorporating your business for several reasons:
(1) Your business attorney will educate you and assist you in selecting the most advantageous and proper corporate entity: There are many different types of corporate entities that you can select from when incorporating, including LLCs, S-Corps, LPs, and LLPs, your business attorney will take the time to educate you on the pros and cons of each type of entity for your particular situation. Your attorney will help you find the most cost-effective solution that best fits your needs. Series LLCs can be a great cost-saving solution for business owners with multiple businesses or multiple locations. Professionals and other particular types of businesses may be required to file as a P.C. or PLLC. Selecting the wrong corporate entity can be an expensive mistake for your business.
(2) Your business attorney will help you maintain required corporate formalities: In order to receive the benefits of incorporation, such as liability protection and self-employment tax savings, it is important that you follow the required steps to maintain corporate formalities, both at the time of initial corporate set-up and annually. Failure to do so will result in creditors being able to "pierce the corporate veil" in order to attribute business debts to the shareholders personally, and may result in paying back self-employment tax savings if you are audited. Your attorney will help you prepare bylaws or an operating agreement, prepare initial and annual meeting minutes for shareholders and directors, comply with notice requirements for annual meetings, issue stock, and maintain your corporate book. Even if you are a single-shareholder corporation or LLC, failure to take these steps may result in your corporation being worthless from a liability and tax saving standpoint.
(3) Your Business Attorney will register your corporation with the required government agencies: As part of our corporate-set up service, our Elmhurst attorneys will assist you in obtaining state and federal tax ID numbers, registering with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and completing any other registrations that are required for you to legally operate your business.
(4) Your business attorney will advise you on tax issues associated with your corporation and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf: As a corporation, you have the opportunity to make an S-Corp election with the IRS that may significantly reduce your personal and business tax liability. A good corporate attorney will work with your accountant to ensure that you are receiving the benefit of every tax advantage available to your corporation.
(5) Build a long-term relationship for your future business needs: Meeting with a business attorney at the incorporation stage of your business will allow you to build a relationship of trust and identify future legal needs such as contracts, leases, employee issues, exit strategies, or disputes. When a legal issue arises, it is important both to identify the situation as one in which you should consult your attorney, and to have a pre-established relationship with an adviser and advocate that you trust.
In this seminar, our Elmhurst business lawyers explain some of the key things to consider when starting a business in Illinois. We explain how to get your business up and running, including how to select the appropriate corporate entity and register with the required governmental organizations. The big three concerns for an up and coming business is touched upon, liability, corporate formalities, and taxation. Our knowledgable attorney also discusses how to make the transition to being an employer, including the difference between employees and independent contractors and the importance of employment agreements and employee handbooks.