5 Expert Tips for Launching a Business in the New Year

launching a businessThe beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get started on making your dreams and goals a reality.  If launching a business is on the list, don’t put it off any longer!  To get you started, here are some important issues to pay attention to when getting that business up and running.

Spend Enough Time Planning

You can never be too prepared when launching a business.  Therefore, take the time during the important planning phase to develop a strong business plan that includes a detailed financial plan for the business and an effective marketing strategy.  Additionally, you should research who your ideal customer is. This way, you can examine the market in order ensure that your product or service is priced appropriately.  You will likely need this information in order to obtain a small business loan, and it will give you a solid foundation on which to grow the company.

Choose the Correct Business Structure

The business structure you choose affects the paperwork you need to file, how much you pay in taxes, as well as your personal liability.  So it’s important to choose carefully.  Some of the more common business structures include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation
  • Cooperative

Selecting the correct entity structure is crucial to the success of your organization.  Our attorneys have in-depth experience in business formation and can help you determine the best option for your small business.

Decide on a Great Business Name

Choosing a name for your new business can be one of the most exciting, personal decisions in the process and it should be done with care for a number of reasons.  Selecting a name that best represents who you are as a company and what you offer can help the business become more successful.  Legally, it is very important to register your name in order to protect it.  This should be done at the state and federal level, as well as online with a website domain name.

Invest in Marketing

You may have the best business idea ever, but how will you let people know about it?  Even the biggest, most successful companies don’t rely solely on word-of-mouth to sell their products and services.  In the excitement of launching a business, remember to think long-term when it comes to promoting yourself.  With competition from brick and mortar businesses, as well as seemingly unlimited online outlets, letting potential customers know about your business and setting yourself apart from the rest is important to survive.

Hire an Experienced Small Business Attorney

Launching a business can be an overwhelming process, especially when it comes to the legal aspect of it all.  From beginning to end, there will be legal issues to contend with, documents to prepare and submit, licenses to apply for, and employment matters to understand.  Making a mistake at any time can wind up costing your business unnecessary fees or fines, or much more if a lawsuit is filed against the company.  Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd can be a valuable resource for any legal challenges your business may face.

Not only can we help you get your new business successfully up and running, but our experienced team can be your legal partner for the duration of your business operations.  Legal issues are a continual concern for a business owner, and our decades of experience will ensure that your business stays protected.  Contact our Grayslake office at 847-223-1500 to learn more.

3 Smart Estate Planning Conversations for Upcoming Family Gatherings

family gathering estate planning

When the holiday season rolls around, we think of family.  We look forward to annual gatherings, dinners and catching up with those who we might only see a few times a year.  Most people don’t immediately consider this a great time to discuss estate planning matters. However, since the family is all together, it could be the perfect time of year to have these important conversations.

Executor Instructions

One of the most important estate planning documents you can prepare is a will.  A will details your final wishes regarding child custody, asset distribution and more.  Naming an executor to take charge of distributing your estate is an important part of the process.  Many people choose a trusted family member to take on the role, so a family gathering is a great opportunity to convey any instructions and ensure that they understand your wishes.

Power of Attorney Assignment

A power of attorney is a document that appoints a person to handle your medical and financial matters should you become incapable of doing so.  It is wise to have a POA in place, no matter your age, as unexpected illness or injury can happen at any time.  When family is together, you can convey your own wishes and select a trusted family member to represent you if you become incapacitated.   Additionally, you can talk with aging parents and help them understand the importance of preparing a POA while they are still in good health.

Succession Planning for a Family Business

There can be many challenges involved when it comes time to pass on a family business to relatives.  Succession planning is a strategic way to identify who will take over the major roles in the company.  Developing a solid plan will help to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership and minimize disruptions to business operations when the time comes.  During the holiday season when family gathers to celebrate, it is wise to take advantage of that opportunity to discuss important details of the business and develop a strong succession plan.

Trust Us for Your Estate Planning Needs

We understand that some of these topics don’t always make for comfortable conversations.  But they are all important, and sometimes the holidays are the only time everyone is available to have a face-to-face discussion.

When you choose CQRH to be a part of your estate planning process, you can be assured that you’re working with respected professionals who have your best interest in mind.  Our attorneys have decades of experience in estate planning matters such as will preparation, probate and trust administration, powers of attorney, succession planning, gifting strategies and much more.  Contact us with all of your questions and concerns at 847-223-1500.

4 Essential Legal Documents When Your Child Turns 18

legal documents at 18Turning 18 is a momentous occasion for any child, as they are now considered to be a legal adult.  Almost certainly, their first response is probably not going to be to rush out and have legal documents prepared. However, there are very good reasons to do exactly that – as soon as possible.

While they may enjoy the initial feeling of freedom (to vote, enter into a contract and make legal decisions on their own), that freedom comes with a great responsibility that they may not be fully prepared for.  As such, they may still want some support from you, as their parent, when it comes to serious decisions regarding their well-being.  Especially when they go off to college, they need assurance that you can help, even from across the country.  The following legal documents will provide peace of mind for both you and your child.

Medical Power of Attorney

If your adult child ends up in the hospital, a medical power of attorney can give you the authority to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to do so.  Without one, all medical decisions would be made solely by the doctors.

General Durable Power of Attorney

This document gives you the authority to make financial decisions on your adult child’s behalf.  This can allow you to help manage bank accounts or pay bills, or make larger decisions if they are unable to due to illness or disability.  Additionally, it can give you access to your child’s grades and transcripts.  Many parents do not realize that this information is not automatically available to them just because they are paying the tuition bill!


The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information and prevents disclosure of certain healthcare information without patient consent.  The HIPAA form is a very specific document which permits healthcare providers to release medical information to persons named in the form.  It can be customized to specify exactly what information to disclose, and what not to, in case there are certain issues they wish to keep private.

Living Will

In addition to the above legal documents, a living will is also important for your adult child to have.  The living will document specifies which healthcare procedures they do or do not want if they were to become terminally ill or in a vegetative state.  If you are given the authority to make medical decisions for your child, it is very important to know their wishes about life-extending medical treatments or organ donation.

We Prepare Legal Document and So Much More

As your child becomes an adult, heads off to college and begins their new independent life, make sure they still have the support of loved ones in case of emergency.  The attorneys at Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd have decades of experience in estate planning and other areas of law, and can help you understand exactly which legal documents will benefit your child as they move through life’s important stages.  We can advise on powers of attorney and living wills, setting up a business, purchasing a new home, litigation strategies and so much more.  It’s never too early to make sure your child has the legal protection they need.  Contact us at 847-223-1500 to get started.

Relief for Landlords: Eviction Moratorium Lifted in IL

landlords eviction

Many landlords have been waiting a long time to receive word that they are allowed to proceed with evictions.  The residential eviction moratorium that was put in place to protect renters who were not able to pay their rent due to pandemic-related hardships had a profound effect on many landlords.  While easing the burden on their tenants, many of whom no longer felt the obligation to pay their rent, the moratorium caused many independent landlords to fall behind on their own mortgage payments – with no protection in place for them. Now that the moratorium has been lifted, as of October 4, 2021 landlords once again have the option to take legal action against those tenants who don’t pay.

Legal Process to Evict

Now that evictions are no longer legally blocked, it is important to remember that there is a specific legal process that needs to be followed to legally evict a tenant.   The proper notices must be given to the tenant and the correct documents must be filed with the court in order to secure an eviction order.  However, even if a landlord takes the necessary legal steps to evict a tenant, that tenant might not leave. A renter can contest an eviction based on a variety of reasons, including errors in the landlord’s notification process, lease violations, building conditions and more.  For this reason, it is recommended to begin the process by consulting an experienced attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant disputes.

Landlords Need an Experienced Attorney

Competent legal assistance is extremely important when it comes to evicting a residential tenant.  While it may be tempting to simply change the locks and force a delinquent tenant from the property, it is illegal to do so.  Following the specifics of the law, right from the beginning of the process, can ensure a quick process and a favorable result.  Even if you think your case is straightforward, complications can arise at any time.  If a tenant does not want to leave, they can make it very difficult for you to have them removed. They can easily extend the process by challenging your actions and finding mistakes (however minor they may be) which could force you to start the process all over.  And of course, the more time your case is delayed in the court system, the more money you lose in unpaid rent.

At Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd, our experienced attorneys understand the legal challenges landlords face, and we can help you to legally regain control of your property as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Contact our Grayslake office at 847-223-1500 to learn how we can help you through even the most complex cases.

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