Spagnolo & Hoeksema, LLC
Representing Businesses And Their Owners Since 2002

Hoffman Estates Business Law Blog

Choose the right business structure to start strong

If you're starting a business for the first time, one thing you'll need to decide on is the kind of business you want to run. Will you have a sole proprietorship? Do you want to open a corporation?

The kind of business you set up does matter. Certain business forms protect you against personal liability and can change the way that you do your taxes each year.

Estate planning steps that minimize your death taxes

Wealth and a network of loved ones can each take a lifetime to build, but the government can drastically affect both in a matter of seconds after you die. If you don't plan ahead for the potential impact of estate taxes, the people and causes you care about may end up paying for your oversight.

The greater the overall value of your estate, the greater your risk for estate taxes. Both the federal government and the state of Illinois will take a cut of your estate, potentially reducing the benefit to your family and loved ones, unless you take action now to protect your legacy from a second round of taxation.

How to choose the right partner for your new business

Some people opt to start a business alone, while others seek a partner to take the journey with them. While there is no right or wrong approach, you must be familiar with the pros and cons of each option.

If you decide that a partnership is the way to go, there's an important question to answer: Who will make for the perfect partner?

Your out-of-state vacation home can complicate probate

Many families have the goal of one day owning property in another state. Some families dream of a rustic cabin on a lake, while other families desire a vacation home somewhere warm. If you have made your family’s dream a reality, you may have some special considerations to factor in when estate planning.

Typically, if you own property in more than one state, your estate must go through probate in both states. After you pass away, your Illinois property will go through probate in Illinois, while your other property will go through ancillary probate in its state. Ancillary probate is a second or subsequent probate for your estate.

It is important to choose the right legal form for your business

Deciding on the legal structure is one of the most important decisions you will make when starting a business. You will probably decide on the legal structure early in the business formation process. However, your choice will have long-term impacts on the amount of taxes you pay, the amount of paperwork your business must complete and the amount of personal liability you may be responsible for.

There are several legal structures to choose from. Four of the most common types of structure include a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation and a limited liability company (LLC).

Illinois is broke, so be alert to new taxes

As most of my clients that have heard me speak over the last 20 years can attest, I have been known to say, "Illinois is broke, so be alert to new taxes." One fact I have mentioned on several occasions is that Illinois does not impose income taxes on your retirement income, whereas most surrounding states do. This Illinois "loophole" has been the primary bright spot for this state when comparing it to the tax environments in neighboring states.

Business tax impact and implication

Regardless of the product or service a business provides, all companies share two common concerns: profits and losses. While people form businesses to meet a need, those companies revolve around making money. At a certain point, making money includes minimizing expenditures.

In any venture, you will pay taxes. According to Benjamin Franklin, they’re one of two things which can ever be certain in this world. And, though taxes serve the public good, they can take a toll. This is especially true for new, small or family-owned businesses.

Staggered distribution is important in high asset estate plans

If you have a large estate and minor children, it's important to consider how you might control your heirs' inheritance in case of a tragic event.

Staggered distribution trusts are common for young beneficiaries of high-asset estates, because they pay out over time -- keeping a young individual from becoming overwhelmed by a large sum coming all at once.

Should you write a business plan?

You may be an entrepreneur considering if you need to write a business plan. It sounds like a great idea. You would think any new business or idea may need a plan to be successful and you would be right. There are many reasons why you should make sure a proper business plan is on your to-do list.

A business plan is a list of goals for your business. It lists your plans for accomplishing the goals and says how they can be achieved. The business plan may also include information for possible investors, as well as, information on the organization’s background and the group trying to reach them.