What Should Small Business Owners Know About Succession Planning?

succession, DuPage County bueiSuccession planning refers to passing on ownership or leadership roles in a business. If you are a small business owner, proper succession planning can help you avoid many of the negative consequences of a sudden change in ownership or management. Even if you do not plan to give up ownership in the immediate future, it is never too soon to get started on a business succession plan. Once you are ready to move on to a new business venture or retire, the plans for selling or passing on the business will already be started. Ideally, succession planning should be an ongoing process that is updated as your business changes and grows.  

Hire Employees Capable of Taking on Leadership Roles

Sometimes, a business owner wants to keep a business in the family. He or she may have an adult child or other relative that he or she hopes will eventually take over the business. However, passing the business to a family member is not always be the best option. It is also possible that the intended recipient of the business decides that he or she does not want to be a business owner. This is why it is crucial that business owners hire employees who are capable of filling leadership roles as they become available.

Choosing an employee as your successor is not the right choice for everyone, but it does come with certain benefits. If your successor is an employee, you will have time to properly train him or her and set the business up for success—even if this success occurs in your absence. Furthermore, if employees know that there are opportunities for advancement and even the chance of being an owner, they will be more inclined to put in the maximum effort at their current jobs.

Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

It is an upsetting possibility to consider, but have you ever considered what would happen to your business if you become seriously ill or passed away? There are some situations in which succession planning is obviously necessary, such as when an owner or manager is planning to retire, but sometimes an unexpected event forces the need for a change in leadership. Proper succession planning will give you the peace of mind that even if something happens to yourself or a valuable member of your team, your business will not be left without a leader.

Contact a Wheaton Business Succession Attorney

Succession planning is not only about choosing a successor but also developing a business that will be able to run smoothly even when major changes take place. For dependable legal guidance regarding succession planning and other business needs, contact a knowledgeable DuPage County business lawyer from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/succession-planning.asp

https://www.sagepeople.com/about-us/news-hub/succession-planning-strategy-effective/

How a Non-Compete Agreement Can Benefit Your Business

non-compete, Wheaton business lawyersWhen an individual purchases a business, they are not only buying the physical assets associated with that business. They are also taking ownership of more abstract assets like the existing customer base, the name and reputation of the business, and intellectual property. Understandably, someone who buys a business wants to ensure that the value of these intangible assets is not reduced because the original owner of the business is opening a competing business in the same market. This is just one of many situations in which a non-compete agreement can be beneficial.

How Does a Non-Compete Agreement Work?

Put simply, a non-compete agreement is a legally binding contract involving a promise not to enter into business competition of some kind. Non-competition clauses are most often used to prevent an employee from working for a competitor or starting a business that competes with his or her employer’s business. These agreements can also include a provision prohibiting the employee from disclosing proprietary information to other parties. Covenants not to compete are often also required of business consultants and contractors.

Non-Compete Agreements Must Meet Certain Criteria to be Enforceable

Of course, a non-competition agreement cannot simply instruct an employee to never again work in a certain field. The scope and duration of a non-compete must be reasonable for the contract to be valid. Illinois courts have ruled that non-compete agreements are only valid if certain criteria is met. It is advised that any business utilizing a non-compete in Illinois provides employees with continuous employment for at least two years as well as additional consideration in the form of perks like bonuses or higher compensation.

If a non-compete agreement does not meet the criteria required by Illinois law, the agreement may be completely unenforceable. There can be unexpected and serious repercussions when a non-compete agreement is not legally binding. The best way to ensure that you employee contracts are valid, reasonable, and effective is to have these contracts reviewed by a qualified business law attorney.

Contact a DuPage County Business Agreement Attorney

If you are a current business owner, plan to buy a business, or have business law-related needs, the skilled Wheaton business law attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. We have provided the DuPage County community and surrounding areas with knowledgeable business law counsel since 1996, and we have the experience and education required to assist you with a wide range of business concerns. Call us at 630-665-2500 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/noncompete-agreement.asp

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianagardella/2015/07/25/the-limits-of-non-compete-agreements/

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Non-Disclosure Agreements

DuPage County contract attorneysOne of the most important parts of owning a business is forming beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs and businesses. In an ideal world, these relationships could be casual, but handshake agreements are not always honored. Informal business agreements can quickly go south and result in damage to your business’s bottom line. Business agreements involving another party should be formalized in writing. One such agreement is a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. Non-disclosure agreements are often essential to protecting a company’s professional interests and continued success.

How Does a Non-Disclosure Agreement Work?

Non-disclosure agreements are a type of confidentiality agreement used to prevent sensitive company information from being shared with other parties. An NDA is a legally binding document which can be used in a variety of situations, most often during proposed or pending business transactions. A company may choose to use an NDA during the sale or purchase of a business, a merger, or during any other conversation in which privileged information is being shared. When discussing a possible merger, for example, the other party will learn information about your business which you may not want shared with anyone else. Allowing news of the merger to reach other businesses or even the press may not be in your best interest. In this example, an NDA can be used to ensure that the other party does not divulge company information to others.

The Two Main Types of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The most common types of non-disclosure agreement are one-way agreements and mutual agreements. A one-way NDA is also called a unilateral NDA. As the name implies, one-way NDAs only bind one of the parties to confidentiality. A unilateral NDA may be useful in preventing potential investors from revealing your business’s information to other people or companies. If you use a one-way NDA in this scenario, you do not have a reciprocating requirement to keep the potential investors’ information confidential. A mutual NDA, on the other hand, applies confidentiality requirements to both parties in a business transaction. A mutual NDA should be used when dissemination of either party’s information could adversely impact the business or the industry. Companies discussing the possibility of a merger most often use a mutual NDA.

Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Business Law Attorney

The Wheaton business lawyers at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, have experience helping clients create formal contracts like non-disclosure agreements and offer many other business law services as well. Schedule a consultation with our law firm by calling 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4760-non-disclosure-agreement.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/03/10/the-key-elements-of-non-disclosure-agreements/