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IL business lawyerStarting a business is an exciting, if not overwhelming, process. Entrepreneurs eager to make their business dreams a reality must address seemingly countless issues. One of the most crucial questions new business owners will need to answer is how to structure their business. There are several different types of business structures, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, entrepreneurs do not have to figure all of these legal issues out on their own.

If you want to start a business, contact an experienced business law attorney who can evaluate your short- and long-term goals and help you determine the business entity that will best meet these goals.

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Each Business Structure

Most people have noticed that companies have letters like "LLC" at the end of their company name, but few give any thought to what these letters mean. However, when you start a business, all of these abbreviations take on a new meaning.

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If your business is growing more and more successful by the day, you may be thinking about franchising. The benefits of franchising your business can be enormous, but franchising before you are ready can be disastrous. It can be hard to know whether now is the right time to expand your business. As with any business-related decision, the decision to franchise should not be taken lightly. You will need to take an honest look at your business’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own ambitions and personal goals before you can know whether franchising is right for you.

Is Your Business Replicable?

Franchising can be a great way to expand your company without needing a large capital investment. However, not just any business is able to be successfully franchised. Is your business unique enough to be marketable?  Do you have a sustainable competitive advantage? Even more importantly, how replicable is your business? If the success your business has enjoyed so far is the result of a smart business model and unique, in-demand products and services, you may be able to replicate this success in a second location. However, if the business’s success is the result of its current location or your own dedication to 15-hour workdays, you may not be able to duplicate the success in a franchise location. Keep in mind, a franchise location must be lucrative enough to pay royalties and still leave the franchisee with a decent profit.

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Wheaton business law attorneysThe structure of a business is more than just a critical element; it is what dictates nearly every aspect of the business. Sadly, too many business owners fail to give the decision of how to structure their business enough thought, which can place them and their partners and investors at risk for legal and financial consequences. Discover how even the smallest of differences in structure, such as those seen in limited liability partnerships (LLP) and limited liability companies (LLC), can make all the difference in the future stability of your company, and learn how an experienced Illinois business law attorney can assist you in making the right decision for your company's needs.

Examining the Similarities Between LLPs and LLCs

For the most part, LLPs and LLCs are formed, structured, and treated the same. Each provides the partners with a "pass-through" option on their taxes, which allows them to avoid the "double taxation" that corporations are required to pay. LLCs and LLPs also handle partner buy-in and sell-out in a similar fashion, and neither has a limit on the number of partners that the business can have. Because of this, LLPs and LLCs have become quite popular among businesses that might have otherwise been forced to register as a corporation.

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Illinois small business attorneysIn a sole proprietorship, an individual proprietor (the owner), manages and runs their business. They receive all income for the company, but they are also responsible for its debts, liabilities, and tax obligations. Learn more about this widely used business structure, including its advantages and disadvantages, and how an attorney can assist with the setup.

Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship

Of all the business structures that one can choose, sole proprietorships tend to be the most affordable and easiest to start. Paperwork and other legal items are generally less extensive, and the sole proprietor is only required to comply with state and federal tax laws, zoning laws, and other local regulations, such as licensing laws.

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