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IL business lawyerBeing laid off or fired is disappointing and may even be confusing - Was it something that you did? Was it something that you did not do? Especially in cases when an employee has done nothing wrong, employers often opt to have the employee sign a severance agreement before they sever ties. A severance agreement is a legal contract that employers use to maintain some sort of post-employment control and to prevent the employee from suing. Because Illinois is an at-will state - meaning as an employer, you can fire an employee at any time, and an employee can quit at any time - severance agreements are most commonly used when a contract was signed prior to employment. Before you give the agreement to your employee, you should have an experienced attorney look over the contract and pay special attention to specific clauses.

Severance Pay or Money the Employer Owes

Sometimes, due to an existing employment contract or company policy, your employee is already entitled to severance pay, so a clause included in the severance agreement is not necessary. If you owe your employee any money, such as for unreimbursed job expenses, it should be noted in the agreement, along with a date by which you will pay.

Employee Benefits

Your agreement should outline which benefits your employee is entitled to following termination, like medical benefits or stock options. Your employee has the option to stay on health insurance through your company’s insurer for up to 18 months after termination, thanks to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1995 (COBRA). You should also include who is responsible for insurance premiums if the employee does choose to remain on the company’s health insurance plan.

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IL business attorneyIf you are an entrepreneur, you may have a dream of opening your own business someday. Being your own boss can provide a flexible schedule and control over daily operations. In addition, it can be rewarding to build a company from the ground up. Regardless of the type of industry or field you go into, it is imperative that you research and take the necessary legal steps before launching your business. An experienced Illinois business law attorney can explain what you need to do to get started off on the right foot.

Things to Do Before Opening Your Doors

There are numerous issues to address before you can say you are officially open for business. Here are several steps to take with the help of your attorney to make sure you are successful:

  • Build a business plan: Develop your pitch, determine your business structure/entity, create a budget, address desired markets.
  • Register your business: Once you decide on the type of business formation, you need to register it with the state of Illinois so it is legally recognized as a business organization.
  • Consider tax obligations: Depending on which county your company is located in, the tax codes may differ.
  • Obtain required licenses and permits: Licensing requirements may depend on if you are opening a retail store versus a restaurant or a bar.
  • Open a business account: It is important to keep personal assets separate from business assets by having different bank accounts for each. This is also essential for accurate record keeping.
  • Choose a location for your business: Consider your target customer base when selecting a place for your company’s headquarters. Some people may want it to be located in a city or metropolitan area instead of a more rural town.
  • Finance your company: You will need money to rent space, buy inventory and supplies, and hire personnel, which can be obtained by taking out small business loans, or state and local grants.
  • Build your brand: To stand out from the crowd, create a dynamic online presence with an engaging website and social media pages to market your brand.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Business Lawyer

Becoming a business owner is no small endeavor. It requires careful planning and attention to detail. An experienced DuPage County business law attorney will ensure that your rights are protected when drafting your business contracts. The qualified team at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC is prepared to take on your case and handle the legal details of your business so you can focus on the day-to-day tasks. Call us today at 630-665-2500 to set up a confidential consultation.

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employees, Wheaton business law attorneysAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably do not have unlimited money to do the things you would like to do. After paying your bills, honoring your contracts with suppliers, and covering payroll, you might not have a whole lot left at the end of each month. This is especially true of companies in their fledgling stages. Without extra money, you may find it difficult to think of ways to motivate your staff and to keep your employees working hard. While it is true that workers appreciate financial incentives like bonuses or gift cards, you may be surprised to learn that there are other effective strategies for motivating your staff that cost far less than you might expect.

Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss

Have you have ever been to a restaurant that was obviously short-staffed? It might have been obvious by the frazzled look on your server’s face, not to mention longer-than-usual wait times and other indications. Can you remember what you saw the manager or owner doing? If he or she was cleaning off tables, carrying trays, or mopping up spills in the bathroom, there is a good chance you were seeing a solid leader, not merely the boss. A “boss” might have been content to give directions and tell others how to handle the problem while the “leader” was not afraid to get dirty and help.

The same idea could be applied to your business, and the way in which you lead matters. When you treat your staff as if they are stupid and replaceable, you will probably see that type of work from them. If you assume that your employees are intelligent, focused, and capable of doing their jobs—to the point where you are willing to dig in alongside them and help out—your attitude is likely to spread. Productivity will probably increase, as well.

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