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kane county business lawyerNot every business can afford to have an attorney on staff. However, every business will need to address legal issues at some point. Seeking the services of a lawyer whenever the need arises can be very inefficient, and this will likely result in additional expenses. Fortunately, there is another option. By working with a law firm that provides general counsel services, a business can get legal help when necessary from an attorney who is familiar with its operations, needs, and goals.

Benefits of a General Counsel Lawyer

Small and mid-size businesses can find cost-effective ways to address their legal needs by establishing a relationship with an outside general counsel attorney. A lawyer who serves in this capacity will work to fully understand the ins and outs of the company’s processes, its relationships with other entities, and its plans for future growth. In addition to resolving issues that currently need to be addressed and stepping in to handle any concerns that may arise in the future, a general counsel attorney can also take a proactive approach, helping identify potential issues and ensuring that a business takes the correct steps to avoid problems that may result in financial losses.

A general counsel lawyer can assist with multiple types of legal issues, including:

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elgin business lawyerContractual agreements are essential for many businesses, and a company may enter into multiple types of contracts with vendors, suppliers, partners, clients, or other parties. While contracts can provide important protections, ensuring that both parties meet their obligations, they can also cause significant problems if they contain mistakes or omissions. By working with an attorney to draft, negotiate, and review contracts, a business can ensure its rights and interests are protected in these types of agreements.

Avoiding Contract Mistakes

While a business may become involved in multiple types of agreements, a verbal agreement or a basic written agreement will not provide it with the protections of a legal contract. To protect its rights and interests, a business will need to make sure a contract is tailored to the unique circumstances of the company and the agreement being addressed. Some of the most common mistakes made in business contracts involve issues such as:

  • Recitals - A contract will usually begin with a preamble that identifies the parties, as well as recitals that provide background information about the purpose of the contract. Failure to include this information may make it difficult to enforce a contract if disputes should arise. 

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elgin business lawyerStarting or expanding a business can be a great opportunity. However, business owners and entrepreneurs will need to consider a variety of legal and financial issues when doing so. Liability is one area of concern for many business owners, but fortunately, if a business is structured correctly, an owner or partner can ensure that they will not be held personally liable for business debts. During the business formation process, which may take place when a business is initially founded or when an existing business is restructured, an owner will want to select a business entity that will provide them with the protection they need.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

In many cases, a business owner will first form their business as a sole proprietorship, or if there are multiple owners, a business will be formed as a general partnership. In these cases, there will be no separation between assets owned by the business and the personal assets of the owner or partners. While this may allow for more flexibility when starting a business and provide an owner with more control over business operations, it will not provide any protection against liability. This means that an owner or partner may be held personally responsible for business debts or lawsuits against the business.

In some cases where a business has multiple owners, it may be beneficial to create a limited partnership. In these cases, one partner will be a general partner with unlimited liability, and other partners will be limited partners who are protected from liability. A business may also be a limited liability partnership (LLP) in which all partners are limited partners. This will provide them with protection against being held liable for business debts, and one partner will not be liable for another partner’s negligence, misconduct, or malpractice.

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Elgin business lawyer for COVID-19 vaccine policiesOver the past year, many businesses have made accommodations in their workplaces to ensure that employees are safe from becoming infected with COVID-19. Due to the increased availability of vaccines, many people who have been working from home are beginning to return to work in person, and employers are taking steps to ensure that their workplaces are safe for employees. However, many employers are uncertain about their requirements related to COVID-19 vaccines for employees, so they should be sure to understand how the authorities in Illinois are addressing these issues.

Can Employers Require Employees to Be Vaccinated?

Currently, the State of Illinois is leaving decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations for employees up to the discretion of employers. An employer may require employees to be vaccinated, or they may allow employees to choose whether or not to receive the vaccine. However, if an employer requires employees to be vaccinated, they must compensate employees for the time spent obtaining the vaccine. Typically, an employer will provide paid leave while employees receive their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

If an employer does not require employees to become vaccinated, and employees voluntarily choose to receive the vaccine, the employer should allow employees to use sick time or other paid time off to obtain the first and second doses of the vaccine. Employees should also be allowed to use sick leave to help children or other family members obtain vaccinations. Additionally, employers are permitted to ask for proof of vaccination from employees to verify that they have been vaccinated.

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Elgin, IL small business attorney for PPP loansThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the U.S. economy. In many cases, small businesses have been hit the hardest. Many businesses have been forced to close, scale back their operations, or come up with new ways of completing essential business activities. This has in turn caused difficulties for people who have been laid off or forced to reduce the hours they can work and the amount they are able to earn. To address these ongoing problems, the federal government has passed economic stimulus and relief programs meant to help businesses continue operating and paying their employees. A law that was implemented at the end of 2020 may provide businesses with more opportunities to receive relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Relief for Businesses Through PPP Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed in March of 2020, created the Paycheck Protection Program. Under this program, businesses that had been affected by the pandemic could obtain low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), and these loans were forgivable, as long as a certain percentage of the balance was used to pay employee wages and other payroll costs.

Initially, applications for PPP loans had to be submitted by June 30, 2020. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), which was passed on December 27, 2020, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program, making it available to businesses that had already received a PPP loan, while also allowing other types of businesses to receive loans for the first time, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and people who are self-employed. 

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