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Business Transactions

Do non-profit companies pay taxes?

Illinois companies designated as non-profit organizations, or charitable organizations, have successfully applied for and obtained the federal  501(c)(3) status. This means that these companies are not legally obligated to pay certain federal, state or local taxes. For this reason, they are often referred to as tax-exempt organizations. However, this delineation does not exempt these companies from all tax requirements. Understanding what taxes must be paid, how and when is important for … [Read more...]

The advantages and disadvantages of using trade secrets

Most Chicago businesses have some sort of special ideas or plans that they believe to be unique to them and integral to their success. Whether a marketing plan or a completely new product concept, these trade secrets are generally considered highly confidential by business owners and entrepreneurs. However, there may be both pros and cons to this approach. The value of social impact and change While protecting intellectual property can be highly essential for some entities, a Forbes … [Read more...]

Finding the right location for your business

When starting an all-new company or looking to relocate an existing company in Chicago, finding the right location can directly impact the ultimate success—or not—of the business. Many things can contribute to what makes a business location the right one and those can vary depending upon the nature of the business. However, the following considerations can apply to most companies when seeking that perfect location. Traffic and accessibility Getting customers in the door is a must for … [Read more...]

Tips on creating a good business pitch for customers

It could be said that the best salespeople do not actually sell but solve. Problems, that is. The heart and soul of effectively promoting a product or service is really all about getting customers to need and want it. The way to do that is to make them see that it does, or offers, something useful to them. Chicago companies of all sizes and types must find a way to help their salespeople drop the old-fashioned sales mentality and adopt the more profitable relationship creating approach. Do … [Read more...]

Proposed scheduling rules introduced for truckers ignites heated debate

All companies in Illinois that rely upon trucking as the means by which products are shipped to or from their locations should have a natural concern to stay abreast of major changes in the transportation industry. Certainly trucking companies, owner-operators and businesses that operate their own fleets find this to be an integral concern of their everyday operations. In July of 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted new legislation that represented sweeping reform … [Read more...]

Trucking companies embracing natural gas vehicles to save money

The transportation industry may not be one of the most glamorous but it most certainly is one of the most important in our society. It is essentially transportation which allows Chicago grocery store shelves to be kept full and that gives consumers access to what they need and want, when they need and want it. Like any industry, the push to manage or reduce operational costs is ever-present whether for small owner-operators, large trucking companies or corporations with their own trucking … [Read more...]

Preparing your business for the new Affordable Health Care Act

Chicago is home to a plethora of businesses that spans many sizes and industries, all of which may be affected by changes in health care legislation. Small businesses in particular may have unique concerns when it comes to the new Affordable Health Care Act. Understanding exactly what this law requires them to provide to their employees, and what benefits or penalties they may be subject to is important. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers information that can help an individual … [Read more...]

Tips on setting up an effective marketing plan for your business

For existing businesses and startups alike, strong marketing plans are essential elements for ultimate success. For many Chicago-area business owners who might be product or service experts but not marketing professionals, developing or adjusting these plans can be complex and time consuming. The following are some tips that can serve as a guide when a new marketing strategy is needed. Start with the basics Hubspot provides a great reminder that starting with the right foundational … [Read more...]

The Sarbanes Oxley Act and your business: What you need to know

Financial Executives International recently published an article indicating that full compliance with the now 12-year-old Sarbanes Oxley Act has yet to become reality. Citing results from its own research as well as from Protiviti’s 2014 Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Survey, FEI also reports that the majority of executives believe the costs associated with continued compliance will keep growing or, at best, hold steady with current levels. Chicago area business owners are likely to experience … [Read more...]

How to find the right investors for your business

The right financial backing is a critical component to success for Illinois businesses. Investment capital provides the necessary means by which new businesses can be launched. It can also propel existing companies to new levels, driving both customer growth and profits. However, many businesses do not understand how to choose the right investors. In order to establish a solid financial foundation, small and large companies alike should understand their needs, research potential investors and … [Read more...]

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