Chicago Business Lawyers

Chicago Attorneys Protecting the Interests of Businesses and Individuals

Business law matters can be complex, and important legal and structural decisions made during the early stages of a business can have a significant impact further along in the life of the business. At Greenswag & Associates, our skillful Chicago business lawyers can provide sound legal counsel with regard to the structuring of a business, contracts related to a business, and buying and selling businesses. We also offer knowledgeable services in the areas of estate planning and probate, real estate and construction law, employment law, and more. If you retain our firm, we will begin with a strategic assessment of your legal problems, including your priorities and desired results. We aim to provide valuable, cost-effective counseling that helps clients achieve their goals.

Business Law

Our firm works on a range of business and corporate law issues, such as business ownership, partnership arrangements, entity selection, and mergers and acquisitions. Illinois businesses are regulated by both federal and state laws. Federal laws that affect businesses can include those related to taxes, employee protections, environmental protections, and securities. Illinois law provides additional protections to employees. For example, the Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in workplaces. Illinois law also allows for non-compete agreements with employees. Our business attorneys can help Chicago clients enforce a non-compete agreement. Under Illinois law, a non-compete agreement is likely enforceable as long as the covenant does not limit an employee’s ability to take another position with a different company in the same business as the employer without attention to whether the positions are similar or otherwise competitive.

Business Formation and Structuring

We work with many different business entities to figure out the business formation and structuring plan that would best assist with achieving their objectives. Businesses can be structured as general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Often, there are many formalities that should be observed when structuring and starting a business. For example, it may be necessary to file Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State Department of Business Services. Depending on the form of the business, it may be necessary to prepare buy-sell agreements, operating agreements, partnership agreements, joint venture agreements, and shareholder management agreements. In some cases, it is necessary to restructure relationships within a business based on altered circumstances. Our Chicago business attorneys can assist you in these delicate situations.

Contracts and Other Transactions

Our firm has helped clients with a wide range of contract and other transactional work, including purchase order structure and documentation, contract work for the purchase and sale of services and goods, and the establishment and documentation of service and product distribution agreements. Generally, for a contract to be binding in Illinois, one party must make an offer to provide goods or services in exchange for consideration from the other party. Consideration refers to something of value. Both parties must receive a benefit for a contract to be enforceable, so if there is no consideration, there will be no valid contract. If an offer is made, the contract will only be formed if there is an acceptance prior to the offer being withdrawn. A counteroffer will terminate the original offer, and if it is rejected, the party making the counteroffer will not be able to accept the original offer unless it is extended again.

Buying and Selling Businesses

Our business lawyers have regularly assisted Chicago clients in structuring and closing sales and purchases of closely held business enterprises. These include both asset and equity interest acquisitions in connection with medical and dental, manufacturing, distribution, and technology businesses. There are numerous considerations that go into buying and selling businesses, including liability and tax issues. For example, a company buying another company’s assets should examine which liabilities it will be assuming. The general rule in Illinois is that businesses that purchase another company’s assets are not responsible for the seller’s liabilities or debts, with several exceptions. These can include an implied or express agreement to assume liability or debt, mergers of the purchaser and the seller, situations in which the purchaser is simply continuing the business of the seller, and situations in which the transaction is for the fraudulent purpose of escaping liability for a seller’s obligations. When equity or stock is purchased, the buyer usually takes on liability for the seller’s company.

Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Probate

In addition to serving as Chicago business lawyers, our firm has represented trustees, executors, beneficiaries, heirs, spouses, and claimants in connection with probate, estate administration, will and trust contests, fraud claims, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. We help clients identify and put in place proper strategies to manage and conserve their assets. We also assist with the management of assets for special needs of disabled or elderly family members. There are formalities that should be followed when creating a will, trust, or other testamentary instrument. When there are suspicious circumstances or a failure to follow formalities surrounding the making of a will or trust, a will or trust contest may be instituted. Common grounds for a will or trust contest include undue influence, fraud, forgery, and lack of testamentary capacity.

Real Estate and Construction Law

We have represented real estate management and brokerage companies, property owners, developers, partnerships, investors, landlords, tenants, and condominium associations in disputes and transactions. Transactions that we have handled have included leasing, acquisitions, real estate ventures, commercial lending, environmental issues, broker fees, and workouts, as well as the purchase, sale, and leasing of real estate, both commercial and residential. Real estate transactions can be complicated in Illinois, and they often involve many different interests and legal documents. Thus, a lack of attention to detail can result in expensive and time-consuming litigation. Among other things, sellers owe a duty to make certain disclosures to buyers about potentially dangerous conditions in a residential property, such as radon hazards, hazardous mold, lead paint hazards, and structural defects.

Employment and Professional Practice

We represent companies in many industries, and we also represent sales and corporate executives, employees, doctors, and other professionals. We advise clients on developing and implementing employment policies pertaining to employee training, discipline, discharge, sexual harassment, family and medical leave, and substance abuse. For example, it is critical for companies to maintain policies that comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. We also audit and refine existing policies to bring them into compliance. In addition, our attorneys negotiate and draft employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, non-compete and trade secret protection agreements, and many other agreements.

Commercial Lending

We have represented closely held businesses and financial institutions in commercial lending transactions. Commercial lending transactions require the negotiation and structuring of many complex loan documents, modifications of these agreements, and the closing of transactions. Many different laws apply to commercial lending transactions, and some apply when there is a change in how the property is to be used. For example, the Illinois Credit Agreements Act requires credit agreements to be in writing and signed by the creditor and the debtor, among other things. Although this law does not apply to consumer transactions and only covers commercial arrangements, it applies in a wide range of circumstances, such as when a formerly residential property assumes a commercial purpose during the course of a loan’s life.

Consult an Experienced Business Attorney in Chicago

The laws governing business operations and commercial transactions are often complex. If you need to form a new business or protect the interests of an existing business, you should seek knowledgeable legal counsel. Our firm represents clients in business and other matters throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, Elgin, Lake, and McHenry Counties. Call us at (847) 701-2250 or complete our online form.