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DuPage County Business Litigation AttorneyIf you own a business, you probably already recognize the crucial role that technology plays in any company. Yet, as technology evolves and develops, so do the threats of cybercrime. Cybercriminals can use malicious software or bots to gain access to confidential data or even hold business information for ransom. Whether you own a small LLC or a large corporation, cybersecurity needs to be a top priority. Unfortunately, many business owners do not realize the importance of protecting their systems and data from cybercriminals until it is too late.

How Cybercriminals Use Technology to Steal From or Threaten Businesses

One of the most common methods used by cybercriminals is phishing. In this type of attack, cybercriminals send emails that appear to originate from legitimate sources, such as a respected organization or government body. These emails look authentic and contain links that lead to malicious websites or download malware. Phishing attacks can be very effective, as the emails usually appear to come from a trusted source and contain information that appears relevant or important to the recipient.

Cybercriminals can also use malware to infect computers and networks, giving them access to confidential information. Malware is malicious software designed to download or run on computers without the user's knowledge. Once malware is installed on a computer, it can steal data, track keystrokes, or even take control of the computer.


DuPage Franchise Business LawyerBusiness ownership is rarely easy, but it can be deeply fulfilling. When you own your own business, you become your boss and take full responsibility for your company's future. Many entrepreneurs choose to pursue the dream of business ownership by launching their own startup or investing in a franchise. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so it is important for potential business owners to know what they are getting into. Business ownership is a massive responsibility, and anyone considering the move should consider their options carefully.

Should I Buy a Franchise or Start My Own Company?

A startup is a business that is founded and owned by an individual entrepreneur or group of entrepreneurs. It may be a new concept, or it may build on an existing idea or service. Startups have great potential for growth, but they also involve considerable risks, as the owners must build an audience from scratch and work hard to develop a reputation.

A franchise, on the other hand, is an existing business that grants permission to another individual or group to use its name, logo, service offerings, and other proprietary information in exchange for a fee. Franchises often provide access to established customer bases and name recognition, but they also require ongoing payments and adherence to strict rules.


DuPage County Business Law AttorneyThe end of the calendar year is a great time to take stock of your business and plan for the upcoming new year. An end-of-the-year review gives you an opportunity to celebrate the triumphs and evaluate the losses the company experienced in the last 12 months.  Here are five tips to help you get started on your year-end review.

End-of-the-Year Company Review

Building and maintaining a successful business is no easy feat in any circumstance, but the last few years have been extremely hard on small and medium-sized businesses. To stay competitive, you must regularly assess your company for strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement and recalibrate your plans accordingly. As you conduct your 2022 end-of-the-year review, consider the following tips:

  • Take an Honest Account of Your Business's Performance - As you review your performance in the last year, it is important to take an honest look at both your successes and failures. This will allow you to get a clear picture of where your business stands and how you can move forward in the coming year.


IL business lawyerAs any business owner can tell you, running a business means constantly having a lot on your plate. From paying employees to making sure contracts get completed on time, to running inventory and making helpful community connections, the life of a business owner rarely involves downtime. In the hustle and bustle of everyday commerce, it can be easy to lose track of exactly how much a business is worth. How do you know your business’s worth, anyway? Will it depend on who you ask and which method of valuation you use? An Illinois business law attorney can help you answer these questions while ensuring that you have the legal representation you need.

Methods of Valuing Businesses

There are many ways to determine a business’s value. The right one for you will depend on the type of business you own and your goals. For example, determining a business’s value for the sake of securing a loan may be done differently than determining the value for the sake of getting a divorce. The three primary methods of business valuation are:

  • Comparable analysis - Also known as the market value approach, this method compares the value of your business to other similar businesses in the area
  • Asset-based approach - This method calculates a business’s value by comparing the business’s total assets to a business’s total liabilities
  • Earnings approach - This approach assesses a business’s value by determining how much revenue the business has the potential to produce in the future, looking at past earnings, existing contracts, and expected future cash flows
  • Whichever method you use, be prepared to gather extensive documentation on things like:
  • Your business’s reputation
  • Your business’s age
  • Trademarks
  • The uniqueness of the product or service your business offers
  • Past tax filings
  • Employee pay records
  • Expense records and invoices

When Does a Business Owner Need to Assess a Business’s Value?

There are many situations in which a business owner may need to assess the exact value of her business. These include, but are not limited to:


IL business lawyerMany businesses rely on non-compete agreements to ensure that employees or former employees cannot use a company’s trade secrets or other protected information to engage in unfair competition. These agreements may be included in employment contracts, severance agreements, or other types of contracts, and they may prohibit a person from working for a direct competitor, starting a competing business, or engaging in other competitive activities within a certain geographical area and during a specific time period. However, a recent change to the laws in Illinois may affect a business’s ability to use non-compete agreements in the future. To ensure that they are following the applicable laws, a company can work with a business law attorney to create valid and enforceable non-compete agreements whenever appropriate.

Restrictions on New Non-Compete Agreements

The Illinois Freedom to Work Act was amended in 2021, and the changes went into effect on January 1, 2022. Certain restrictions will apply to non-compete agreements that are created or updated after this date. These restrictions include:

  • Employers can only enter into non-compete agreements with employees that earn more than $75,000 per year. This limit will be increased to $80,000 in 2027, and it will increase by an additional $5,000 in 2032 and 2037.
  • Non-compete agreements are prohibited altogether for people employed in the construction industry or other workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. However, this prohibition does not apply to employees who primarily perform functions related to management, engineering, architectural design, or sales.
  • Employees must receive adequate consideration in return for entering into a non-compete agreement. Consideration may include wages or benefits, bonuses, severance pay, or other forms of compensation. If an employee works for an employer for at least two years after signing a non-compete agreement, this will be considered adequate consideration.
  • To be valid, a non-compete agreement must be necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests. To determine whether the restrictions included in a non-compete agreement are appropriate, multiple factors may be considered, including an employee’s understanding of an employer’s relationships with customers and other employees, an employee’s knowledge of trade secrets or other confidential information, and whether restrictions on when and where an employee can work will be reasonable.
  • Employers are required to advise employees in writing that they should consult with a lawyer before signing a non-compete agreement. Employers must also allow an employee at least 14 days to consider a non-compete agreement before employment begins or before the agreement must be signed.

Contact Our Wheaton Non-Compete Agreement Lawyers

If you believe that non-compete agreements are necessary to protect your business’s interests, you will need to make sure your agreements are in compliance with Illinois law. At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we can advise you of your rights and the restrictions that may apply to your business, and we will work to draft and negotiate non-compete agreements and other types of contracts that will provide you with the protections you need. Contact our DuPage County business contract attorneys at 630-665-2500 to set up a confidential consultation and learn how we can assist with your legal needs.

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