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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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When a married couple with children divorces, child support is typically ordered to help the parents share child-rearing costs. If you are considering divorce, you may wonder which parent will be the recipient and which parent will be the payor of child support. You may also want to know how much these child support payments will be. In Illinois, child support is calculated using the income shares model. Each parents’ income and other information is used to determine a child support payment amount that is fair, reasonable, and provides for the child’s needs.

Income Shares Model for Calculating Child Support

Prior to 2017, child support payments were calculated based solely on the paying spouse’s net income. Now, both parents’ net incomes are used to determine child support. Illinois adopted the Income Shares model for child support in order to hold both parents accountable for financially supporting their child. The new calculation method largely bases child support on the difference between the parents’ income. The closer the parents’ incomes are, the less the support payments will be.

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Wheaton, IL real estate attorneysThere are a number of reasons that you may want to purchase a home that is being sold by the owner. It could be that the property has everything you have been looking for, or it could simply be a desire to complete an expedient purchase. Whatever the case, there are some risks that you should be aware of, and some factors you should consider, when purchasing a "for sale by owner" (FSBO) property. These risks and factors - and how you can effectively manage them - could prove to be crucial.

You May Have to Do Some Leg Work

Real estate agents are paid (and trained) to address many details for both the buyer and the seller. A FSBO owner, though interested in selling their property, does not have the same knowledge or experience, which means they may fail to provide you with important information. This oversight may not necessarily be intentional, but it is something you should be aware of. Furthermore, FSBO owners may lack the organizational skills needed to complete paperwork in a timely manner.

Be prepared for possible delays and never agree to anything until you have done your homework. At the very least, this should include an investigation on any previous insurance claims filed on the home, a market analysis of the area, research on zoning details and specific details of the property, and an experienced real estate attorney who can protect your interests by examining the contract and other details of the transaction.

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power of attorney, Wheaton estate planning lawyerHave you ever thought about who should handle your affairs if you became physically or mentally capacitated? Sadly, unexpected accidents and illnesses can affect even individuals who are otherwise young and healthy. A power of attorney is a type of advance directive that allows a person to designate a representative or “agent” to speak on his or her behalf in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. The term “power of attorney” is used to refer to the estate planning tool as well as the individual who is chosen to act as the agent. This is a heavy responsibility, so it is important to choose someone who is capable of handling the role.

Financial Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A power of attorney for healthcare, also called a medical power of attorney, allows you to choose a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to express your own medical wishes. For example, if complications arise during surgery and you are under anesthesia, your power of attorney for healthcare may need to make decisions on your behalf about how to proceed.

A financial power of attorney allows you to choose a representative to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Your agent will be responsible for paying your bills and handling other monetary or real estate matters.  Some individuals choose to assign both medical and financial responsibilities to the same person, while others choose to assign these roles to two different people.

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succession, DuPage County bueiSuccession planning refers to passing on ownership or leadership roles in a business. If you are a small business owner, proper succession planning can help you avoid many of the negative consequences of a sudden change in ownership or management. Even if you do not plan to give up ownership in the immediate future, it is never too soon to get started on a business succession plan. Once you are ready to move on to a new business venture or retire, the plans for selling or passing on the business will already be started. Ideally, succession planning should be an ongoing process that is updated as your business changes and grows.

Hire Employees Capable of Taking on Leadership Roles

Sometimes, a business owner wants to keep a business in the family. He or she may have an adult child or other relative that he or she hopes will eventually take over the business. However, passing the business to a family member is not always be the best option. It is also possible that the intended recipient of the business decides that he or she does not want to be a business owner. This is why it is crucial that business owners hire employees who are capable of filling leadership roles as they become available.

Choosing an employee as your successor is not the right choice for everyone, but it does come with certain benefits. If your successor is an employee, you will have time to properly train him or her and set the business up for success—even if this success occurs in your absence. Furthermore, if employees know that there are opportunities for advancement and even the chance of being an owner, they will be more inclined to put in the maximum effort at their current jobs.

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