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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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IL real estate lawyerIf you are a first-time homebuyer, there are many legal terms with which you may not be familiar. In residential real estate terms, a deed is a document that proves the transfer of a title of a specific property from one individual to another. A title is the legal right to use and alter the property if the owner so chooses. With a title, the owner can also transfer interest or any portion to others through the deed, which represents the right of the owner to claim the property. The main difference is the title describes or names the primary holder of the property, whereas the deed is the official legal document that is filed.

The Importance of a Title

There is an old saying, “What is in a title?” Basically, title is the legal term that refers to ownership of something. It may be helpful to think of the word “entitle,” which means having ownership or control over something. In real estate, that would be property. A title is a very important element in residential real estate transactions. When a person holds a title to a home, they possess the legal rights, ownership control, and responsibility of that house. Titles can be held by a single person or by two or more individuals, such as a married couple or an adult and his or her parents. It is important to note that titles can also be held by corporations, organizations, and trusts where all the involved parties share certain ownership rights.

Details of the Deed

A deed is the actual paperwork that is signed by someone who is selling or transferring over the rights to their property, and this person is typically known as the grantor. The person buying or taking possession of the home is referred to as the grantee. The deed includes the names of the property’s seller and the buyer, and the seller must sign it to confirm the transfer of ownership.

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IL estate lawyerThe topic of estate planning is important, but it can seem daunting to think about. When a person dies, an estate tax is imposed on the value of the estate left behind, before any beneficiaries (family members or close friends) inherit anything.

An inheritance tax is imposed on an individual who receives any type of inheritance. Although some states do have inheritance taxes, there is no federal or state tax imposed on inheritances in Illinois. It is important to distinguish between these two kinds of taxes in order to protect the rights of those on the receiving end.

Understanding the Illinois Estate Tax

There is both a federal estate tax and an Illinois estate tax, however, the size of the estate must be significant for either one of these types of estate tax to apply. The Illinois estate tax rate is graduated and can go up to 16 percent, but it is only applied on estates worth more than $4 million. This means that if a decedent’s total estate is worth less than $4 million, the estate does not have to pay anything to the state. If an estate is worth more than $4 million, there is a progressive estate tax rate, and the estate will have to pay before money can be distributed to any heirs.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stimulus.jpgThere is no denying that the spread of COVID-19 caused a health and economic crisis throughout the United States. Fortunately, the United States House of Representatives recently passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which contains $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals (who make up to $75,00 annual gross income), unemployment benefits extension, and billions of dollars in federal aid to help small businesses and non-profit companies. President Biden is expected to sign the bill, and Democrats consider the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 not just a bill to combat the financial downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic but also an anti-poverty measure in general.

Financial Assistance for Business Owners

With several brands of vaccines being administered across the country and certain restrictions lifted, the economy has shown signs of rebounding. However, millions of Americans are still unemployed. The American Rescue Plan Act will provide $350 billion to cities and states and $130 billion to schools to aid in reopening them. In addition, the stimulus bill will devote billions more to a national vaccination program, expanded COVID-19 testing, food stamps, and rental assistance, to name a few. As more and more people are vaccinated, non-essential businesses that were temporarily shut down may be allowed to open their doors for customers again. This can include salons, casinos, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, concert venues, as well as other small businesses.

The Act also includes several provisions for small business owners. It allocates an additional $7.25 billion for forgivable loans in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Additionally, it provides grants targeted to small businesses in those areas of the economy that have been hit the hardest by coronavirus-related shutdowns. Specifically, the bill will provide the following in financial relief funds:

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IL real estate lawyerCommercial and residential real estate matters can be complicated since they often involve a lot of paperwork and legal terminology. However, it is important to understand all of the terms to avoid losing time or money. One such real estate issue many people may not be familiar with is a mechanic’s lien, which is a legal document that is filed against a house or other similar type of property. Mechanic’s liens are a means by which subcontractors and suppliers can seek payment for upgrades or enhancements that were performed on a property if they are not getting paid per the terms of their contracts.

Making Home Improvements

Homeowners can face a mechanic’s lien even if they do not miss repair or home improvement payments. For instance, if you have your kitchen remodeled and the contractor does not pay the material supplier, that individual or company can put a lien against your house as a way of recovering the money they are owed. You are then responsible for paying any subcontractors, suppliers, or workers for their labor (time) and materials.

Many homeowners do not know that even if they already paid a contractor for work, if the other parties or tradesmen involved in the project are not paid by the main contractor, the subcontractors can come after the property on which the work was performed, such as a house. Ultimately, if you own a home, you may be required to pay for the work a second time, or worst-case scenario, you may have to sell your house if you cannot afford these extra costs.

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