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IL business attorneyFor many people, starting a business is the ultimate dream and though it may seem unattainable to some, it has been a reality for millions of Americans. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there were 31.7 million small businesses operating in the United States in 2020. Small businesses play an essential role in the U.S. economy, as they are responsible for employing nearly half, or around 47.1 percent of the American workforce. Starting your own business may seem daunting, especially when it comes to the legal side of things, but a business formation attorney can help guide you through the process. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when starting your business:

Make Sure You Have a Clear and Understandable Business Plan

The first step to creating any successful business is having a business plan written out. A business plan is exactly what it sounds like -- a plan for your business. A thorough business plan will contain information about the industry in which your business will operate and information about the scope of your business itself, a sales and marketing plan, how the business will be owned and managed, the way the business will operate, and basic information about the business finances.

Research the Market You Are Interested In

Before you start your business, you should do a lot of research. Writing your business plan will take a lot of research, but you should be intimately familiar with your industry if you are not familiar with it already. You should have a basic idea of what your competitors are doing, what they are selling, and how they are selling it. This can also help you develop and implement goals for your own business.

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Most of us, at some point or another, have had those fleeting thoughts about a product or service that could serve as the foundation for a new business. On the other hand, maybe you have watched another company offer goods and services while knowing that you could do it better. So how does one go from the “idea” phase to the “action” phase of starting the actual business based on the idea? There are, of course, many steps, but the first important one is to determine whether or not the idea is truly marketable.

What Is Your Idea?

Not every business idea is going to grow into the next Microsoft or Google, and that is okay. A successful service or product is not necessarily going to break records or reshape the world as we know it. In order to be profitable, your idea simply needs to solve some type of problem for those you intend to reach.

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Illinois small business lawyersSavvy entrepreneurs often pool their skills and resources to increase the chances of success. Unfortunately, when a partnership is formed under the wrong conditions, this pathway to success can quickly become a business owner’s worst nightmare. Learn how you can avoid the most common business partnership killers in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you proactively mitigate the possibility of a failed partnership.

Partnerships Born from a Lack of Money or Skill

In an ideal partnership, business owners have “synergy,” or a way that they complement one another. As an example, one partner might have the marketing tools and resources that the company needs to be successful while the other has a knack for thinking “outside the box.” Unfortunately, if one partner “needs” another in order to achieve success - perhaps one person has the idea and marketing skills while the other possesses the capital to start the business - any potential benefit of a partnership may be lost. To avoid this issue, partners are encouraged to share expenses, not capital. Also, you should never give away something that is yours (i.e. information, ideas, etc.). Instead, create an iron-clad contract that can protect your ideas and concepts, even if the partnership ultimately fails.

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DuPage County business law attorneysYou have the idea, the business plan, and may even have an estimate of just how successful your business will be. Still, you are not quite sure which business structure you should choose. Believe it or not, this is actually a very common issue among new business owners. Often, this is due to the legal and financial complexities of each structure. Get information on the basics with the following information, and then learn how an attorney can assist you with finding the right structure for your new business.

Sole Proprietorship

This is the most basic of all business structures, and it is often the simplest in regard to taxation.  However, there are some serious limitations. You may have a hard time obtaining a business loan if you do not have good credit, and you are responsible for all of your debts, assets, and liabilities. So, if you run into financial troubles, you run the risk of losing your business. Also, in Illinois, you have to file your business with the county clerk's office if the business is not the same as your full legal name, and you must file for a Federal Employer Identification Number if you plan to hire employees.

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