The Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Franchise Business in Illinois

IL business lawyer, Illinois franchise attorney, IL business lawsBecoming a business owner can be a major endeavor, regardless if you are launching your own start-up or purchasing a franchise company. For those looking to start their own business, a franchise with proven systems and processes in place can provide an extra sense of security. Research shows that franchises have a better success rate than start-ups; however, embarking on a franchise business can still pose risks. That is why it is important to consult with a skilled attorney who is well-versed in Illinois business law before you decide if opening a franchise is right for you.

What Benefits Does a Franchise Offer?

Most franchises have been around for a long time, meaning they have a successful business model that enabled them to expand and open other branches or locations. One of the main advantages of a franchise is the collaboration and network that comes with a corporate entity. In addition, a franchise can offer the following benefits:

  • Name recognition: A well-known brand name can go a long way in achieving sales quotas as opposed to an unknown company that would need to rely on word of mouth to obtain a customer base. 
  • Proven processes/system: The franchisor already has experience building their brand and systems so they know what policies and procedures work and which ones do not, eliminating that trial-and-error period common to new business owners.
  • Training and Support: Franchises are typically overseen by a large corporation, which offers customer service and ongoing training to keep franchisees updated on the latest best practices.
  • Purchasing power: A recognizable name gives owners the benefit of a collective buying power of the franchise for purchasing inventory and equipment.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Franchise?

Starting any kind of business takes careful consideration and planning. In some cases, an individual may want to provide a service or product that is not on the market yet. Also, many entrepreneurs do not want to be confined to a higher power, so to speak. Here are several issues that may be considered deterrents to owning a franchise:

  • Startup costs: Depending on the industry, the franchise startup costs can be expensive. In many situations, owners will need to secure financing or take out a loan in order to buy their share of the business.
  • Ongoing expenses: The majority of franchisees must pay royalty and/or advertising fees on a regular basis, which means that a percentage of the profits goes to the franchisor.
  • Less flexibility: The day-to-day operations of a franchise business is often dictated by the franchisor, leaving the owner with limited decision-making authority.
  • Contractual limitations: When purchasing a franchise, owners usually sign a contract that locks them in for a designated period of time. It can be complicated and costly to break this agreement.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Business Law Attorney

Owning your own business can be a dream come true. If you are considering starting your own company or buying a franchise in Illinois, it is essential that you consult a legal professional. At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, our seasoned DuPage County business lawyers have 40 years of experience. We will provide you with comprehensive and cost-effective strategies to help get your business off the ground. Call our office today at 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation.



How Can the New COVID-19 Stimulus Relief Bill Help Landlords?

IL real estate lawyer, IL foreclosure attorney, The coronavirus health crisis has also caused an economic downturn in 2020. Many people are struggling to pay their bills after being laid off or furloughed. President Trump signed a new relief bill into law just after Christmas, with another $900 billion in stimulus funds allocated in an effort to help individuals, families, and businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to containing money to fund government operations, the spending package also includes emergency relief money for a new round of stimulus checks, unemployment aid, and small business assistance. These funds may be able to help Illinois landlords and tenants who are facing eviction or foreclosure. Learn if this bill applies to you by contacting an experienced real estate attorney.

Eviction Moratoriums

Over the past year, local, state, and federal agencies have issued orders to stop or slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. These orders included closing non-essential businesses and requiring masks to be worn in public places while also limiting the number of people in gatherings. Some orders even included prohibiting tenants from being evicted from their homes if they were behind on rent payments. However, these executive orders do not extend to situations where a tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of building code, health ordinance, or similar regulations. The Illinois eviction moratorium was extended again, and it prohibits the filing of residential eviction actions and the enforcement of residential evictions until January 9, 2021.

Similar to the country’s initial stimulus package, this round of stimulus checks issued by the U.S. government gives $600 to each person who is earning $75,000 or less for an annual salary in addition to $600 for every minor dependent.

The relief package also includes an extension of unemployment benefits and a federal unemployment insurance bonus of $300 per week. As a response to the negative impact felt by small businesses in 2020, Congress has allocated an additional $284 billion in loans for those business owners who are having trouble delivering paychecks and covering rent payments for their company.

In addition, Americans who are facing eviction due to nonpayment of rent may find relief with this new package. It includes $25 billion in rental assistance and a 30-day extension of the moratorium on evictions. Since many landlords may rely on rental income to pay their mortgages, the relief bill can help them avoid foreclosure. However, the bill does not provide direct financial assistance to homeowners for making their monthly mortgage payments on time.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Attorney

Homeowners in Illinois may be finding it difficult to pay their monthly mortgage payments due to COVID-19. If you or your loved one has experienced a job loss or a reduction in pay, it is important to understand your legal options. At Stock, Carlson & Duff, LLC, we understand the intricacies of real estate law, including foreclosures. Our dedicated Wheaton, IL real estate lawyers represent buyers and sellers at closings in both residential and commercial real estate transactions. We will work with you to find solutions that best fit your unique situation and avoid foreclosure. To arrange a private consultation, call us today at 630-665-2500.


How Holiday Gift-Giving Can Help Reduce Your Estate Taxes

Illinois estate planning attorney, IL estate taxes, IL estate lawyer,Even though it is the season for giving, this year has been difficult for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has resulted in not only a global health crisis but an economic downturn as well. Numerous individuals across the country may have felt the impact, whether it is a pay cut or a job loss. Many people may be contemplating their financial future, regardless of their job status. Tax issues can be complex, but there are various ways to reduce estate and inheritance taxes. For instance, Illinois tax laws provide tax benefits if retirement funds are left to designated individuals, and certain kinds of trusts can reduce estate and inheritance taxes that an individual has to pay. There are valuable tools that can be utilized in the estate planning process, and an experienced attorney can assist you in creating a comprehensive estate plan.

Monetary Gifts at the End of the Year

These days, many individuals are now doing their Christmas shopping online as a result of COVID-19. Stores all over the country are temporarily closed in an effort to stop the spread of the contagious virus. For those who have a difficult time picking out the perfect gift, a good alternative is to give money. That way, the recipient can buy whatever he or she likes. Giving money to family members or friends this Christmas can also be a smart tax planning move. Gifting cash now can help you reduce or even avoid estate taxes after you die.

The gift tax is a federal tax placed on certain gifts. It is important to note that the giver of the gift is responsible for paying this tax, not the recipient. The annual federal gift tax limit is $15,000. This means that if someone gives more than that to a person within the same calendar year, he or she will be taxed on the excess. The tax rate for any amount over $15,000 is 40 percent. The federal government also imposes a generation-skipping tax if an individual wants to leave his or her assets to any grandchildren.

For married couples, each spouse can give $15,000 to the same person, increasing the annual tax-free gift to $30,000 per individual. As an example, if a couple has two married children and three grandchildren, each spouse can give up to $30,000 this year to each of the kids, their spouses, and the grandchildren without having to file a gift tax return. That equates to $210,000 in tax-free gifts. This can be done every year without paying a gift tax unless the total of these monetary gifts exceeds the lifetime limit, which is $11.58 million for 2020. The limit for 2021 will be $11.7 million. The $15,000 or $30,000 annual gifts must be made before the end of the year, with checks deposited by December 31.

Ultimately, if a monetary gift to one person is greater than the annual exemption amount, the overage is reported to the IRS, thus decreasing the giver’s lifetime exclusion amount. This in turn reduces his or her estate tax exemption.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Estate Planning Lawyer

It is never too early to think about your estate planning needs. Pre-planning can allow you to document your wishes if something happens to you. In addition, gifting can reduce the estate taxes you may be required to pay on your assets. A knowledgeable DuPage County estate planning attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC will explain how giving monetary gifts can impact your estate, including any tax implications your generosity might have. With over 40 years of legal experience, helping families throughout DuPage, Cook, and Kane Counties, we have guided our clients through the estate planning process to help them make informed financial decisions that are in their best interests. To arrange a confidential consultation, call our office today at 630-665-2500.