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November, 2015 Archives

Could incorporation have protected Cubs fan

The only thing Matt Smerge wanted was to raise money for his teenage son's college fund. Instead, he would up in an altercation with a Chicago police officer suing his beloved baseball team and putting his personal finances at risk. If Smerge's business were incorporated, there would be little chance a judgment creditor could attach them to satisfy a judgment against the business. Smerge's saga started when he decided to raise money to send his son to college by publishing and selling a $2 … [Read more...]

Avoid these dangers when negotiating a commercial real estate lease

Landlords often push longer lease terms, offering better pricing or other incentives to sweeten the deal. Yet without flexibility, a small business locked in a long-term lease may suffer should it encounter unexpected growth or decline. Limiting the duration of a real-estate lease to one to two years will better suit the needs of less mature businesses. A real estate lawyer in Chicago can help you negotiate renewal options with reasonable limits on rent increases. (article continues … [Read more...]

Rahm Emanuel Requests Significant Raise to Illinois’ Commercial Property Taxes

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to raise taxes on commercial property holders in the hopes that these tax increases will stave off the state's ever burgeoning budget shortfalls. This past week, he pitched his proposals to Chicago's 50 Alderman seeking their support of the largest property tax increases in the history of Illinois. At issue is the philosophy of how to deal with the city's budget shortfalls which exceed $9 billion dollars a year. Coupled with over $159 billion in IOU's owed to … [Read more...]

Selling your home in the winter

People are often reluctant to put their home on the market with winter approaching. The reality is that marriages and births, promotions and job transfers happen year-round, so people are looking for houses during all seasons. Selling a home during winter can actually work to the seller’s advantage, since potential buyers are usually relocating out of necessity, creating greater urgency. Regardless of the season, the key to selling any home is creating appeal. Adding thoughtful touches … [Read more...]

Creating an effective business plan

The main purpose of a business plan is to communicate the vision of the company so that everyone who gets involved is on the same page. This includes potential partners, investors and vendors. It is an important element of business formation because it substantiates the initial idea of the business with a concrete plan of action. For both established and new businesses, the business plan sets the path for moving forward. A business plan maps out a company’s route to success, and its audience … [Read more...]

A long-term care plan can be an important part of estate planning

Many people in Chicago, Illinois, may view long-term care planning as unnecessary. Unfortunately, these people may be exposing themselves to significant financial risk. The interest group AARP reports 7 out of 10 Americans over age 65 will require long-term care, and 20 percent of people in the same age bracket need care for longer than 5 years. Individuals who consider long-term care plans during estate planning can avoid financial strain and ensure that providing care does not become a … [Read more...]

How to finance commercial real estate

Buying commercial real estate represents a smart investment for many business owners in Chicago, Illinois. However, obtaining financing for these purchases can be difficult, and choosing the wrong form of financing can place a significant burden on owners and their businesses. Business owners should make sure they understand the variables that influence loan offers and the available sources of funding before they begin looking for commercial real estate financing. Factors affecting … [Read more...]

How to protect your business with written agreements

Many Illinois business owners may rely on oral or implied arrangements when making deals with others. These business owners may think written business contracts are unnecessary or show a lack of trust. However, these contracts play an essential role in protecting the interests of a business. Written contracts clarify any confusion between both parties. They also act as binding proof of the agreement in the event that one party violates it. Business owners should always draw up written … [Read more...]

Avoid these common accounting errors

Good accounting information is essential for any business’ success. Accuracy, timeliness and integrity in financial management are vital because inaccuracies can lead to uninformed decisions made by those who manage the business’ operations and those who have invested capital in the company. Additionally, mistakes made in the accounting process can result in ethical, logistical and legal problems. Mistakes to avoid There are many common accounting mistakes business owners are prone to … [Read more...]

Home inspections in Illinois – how do they work?

Although a home may look relatively perfect during a walkthrough, it could be hiding potential problems. Unlike home appraisals, which only indicate a home’s monetary value, home inspections provide information about the home’s exterior and interior condition. An inspection should include an analysis of the home’s major components like the furnace and air conditioner, plumbing and electrical systems and an overall inspection of the roof. The main goal of a home inspection is to alert the … [Read more...]

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