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Law Offices of Jonathan M Aven, Ltd.
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Chicago and Cook County condominium laws are some of the most sophisticated and stiff in Illinois.

ILLINOIS BUSINESS LAWS EFFECTIVE 2015

PA 98-0776 (SB 1098) Corporate Liability post dissolution
Allows for a corporation that has been dissolved to continue to be liable up to five years after the dissolution.  Any legitimate claim against the corporation could be from any period before, during, or after dissolution up to five years.  The law reverses a decision made by the Illinois Supreme Court.

PA 98-0774 (HB 5701) ‘Ban the Box’ bill
Prohibits employers from seeking information regarding a potential employee’s criminal history until after an invitation to interview or a conditional offer of employment has been extended.  Intended to allow job seekers with criminal history to be considered on their merits and experience rather than being dismissed out of hand for an offense

PA 98-0862 (HB 5622) Payroll cards
This law establishes requirements and regulations for the use of payroll cards by employers - stored value cards offered by some companies to their employees as an alternative to payroll checks or direct deposit. Payroll cards are similar to debit cards and can be used to make purchases or withdraw cash at ATMs. Regulations include prohibiting the employer from forcing an employee to accept a payroll card in lieu of other payment, and ensuring the employer provides a complete written explanation of the terms and conditions of the payroll card account including any fees that may be involved.

PA 98-0911 (HB 4790) Hair braiding licensure standards
Provides that an individual licensed as a hair braider teacher may practice hair braiding without being licensed as a hair braider.  The purpose of this change is to bring the same standards to barber oversight as is done with cosmetology.

PA 98-1037 (HB 4157) Employee status for interns
Adopts the federal definition of “intern” to the Illinois Human Rights Act, giving employee status to unpaid interns at Illinois businesses for the purpose of sexual harassment claims.  An “intern” is considered an employee if:   the employer & intern agree to no wages; employer is not committed to hiring the person; and the closely supervised work provides experience for the benefit of the person performing the work, but does not displace regular employees.

PA 98-1119 (SB 3405) Protecting small businesses from patent trolls
Any person sending demand letters about patent infringement must have an actual legal claim that is valid. Offenders will be subject to sanctions for engaging in a deceptive business practice.

PA 98-1051 (HB 5563)   Equal pay investigations
Allows Departments of Labor (DOL) and Human Rights (DHR) to combine Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination investigations and investigate an equal pay violation when a sex discrimination violation is also alleged, so that employers do not have to undergo TWO investigations.

PA 98-1050 (HB 8) Workplace pregnancy accommodations
Provides that it is a civil rights violation for employers: to not to make reasonable accommodations for employees with conditions commonly related to childbirth or pregnancy; to require a job applicant or employee to accept accommodations; to require an employee to take leave for a medical condition related to childbirth or pregnancy; or to retaliate against a person who has requested, attempted to request, used, or attempted to use a reasonable accommodation.

PA 98-0838 (SB 2999) Licensing of roofing contractors
An applicant for licensure must submit to IDFPR evidence that they have an unemployment insurance employer account number issued by IDES, and that there is not a delinquency in payment under the Unemployment Insurance Act.  All persons performing roofing services under the Act shall be licensed as roofing contractors, except for persons who are deemed to be employees of a licensed roofing contractor.

PA 98-0874 (SB 1103) Occupational Safety and Health Act
This new Act, like the two Acts it replaces, applies only to public employers (the federal OSHA Act governs occupational health and safety in the private sector). One new change in the combined Act allows the Attorney General to bring an action in a circuit court to enforce the collection of any civil penalty assessed under the Act.

PA 98-1096 (SB 1778) Resale Dealers Act
The act requires that a resale dealer maintain a standard record book that has been approved by local law enforcement. It provides that the resale dealer shall record a detailed account of each transaction in the record book and establishes additional requirements concerning record books. Further provides that every resale dealer shall require that ID be shown by each person selling any goods, articles, or other things to the resale dealer and establishes additional requirements concerning acceptable forms of ID. It establishes criminal offenses that a person may be charged with for violating the Act, and amends the Pawnbroker Regulation Act to repeal a provision concerning requirements for unregistered buyers conducting business at temporary buying locations. Defines resale dealer.

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Illinois had more that 200 new laws take effect on January 1, 2015.  Here is a brief synopsis of these new laws related to Real Estate.

Types of Business Structures in Illinois

Starting a new Illinois business can be both exciting and challenging. Whenever you start a business, you will have to select one organizational type from out of all the different business structures. This choice determines how your business will be set up and organized. Making the right choice for your business will generally depend upon the type of business, how you want the business to be run, how many owners the business will have, and the financial situation of the business.

Below are the types of business structures in Illinois that you can organize your new business, along with a brief description of each.

Sole Proprietorship and General Partnership

When a business name is different from the owner(s) full legal name(s), the Illinois Assumed Name Act requires sole proprietorships and general partnerships to register with their local county clerk's office for registration under the Assumed Name Act. Sole proprietors must have a Federal Employer Identification Number if they pay wages to one or more employees, or file any pension or excise tax returns including those of alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

Limited Partnership

A Limited Partnership is an organization made up of a GENERAL PARTNER, who manages a project, and limited partners, who invest money, but have limited liability and are not involved in day-to-day management. Typical limited partnerships are in real estate, oil and gas, and equipment leasing and family partnerships.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the non-corporate form of doing business that provides its owners with limited liability, flow-through tax treatment and operating flexibility through participation in management of the business. The LLC is well suited for every type of business venture, except banking and insurance, which are prohibited by Statute. Examples of acceptable businesses are: farming, agricultural services, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, investment companies, insurance agents, real estate brokers, all types of real estate ventures, hotels, personal and business services, automotive sales and services, amusement and recreation, health services, accounting, architecture and other professions...

Limited Liability Partnership

If organized as a Limited Liability Partnership under a specific section of the General Partnership Act, partners are not liable for the debts, obligations and liabilities of, or chargeable to the partnership arising from negligence, wrongful acts, omissions, misconduct or malpractice committed while the partnership is a Limited Liability Partnership.

"C" Corporation

A corporation is a distinct legal entity and is the most complex form of organization. A corporation may sell shares of stock, which are certificates indicating ownership, to as many people as is desirable. The shareholders then elect a board of directors, which elects a president and other officers who run the company on a day-to-day basis. Among the advantages of corporate formation are limited liability of the shareholder and ease of transferring ownership. If the name of the business includes the word "Corporation," "Inc.","Incorporated" or "Corp.", then the business must be incorporated.

"S" Corporation

Electing S Corporation status is an option that must be made through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when starting a business. In general, an S Corporation passes through income and expenses to its shareholders, who then report them on their own income tax returns. To qualify for S Corp. status, a corporation must meet several requirements, one of which limits the number of shareholders.

Before selecting a business structure for the business you're planning on starting, it is highly recommended to consult an attorney with business law knowledge and/or accountant for assistance in determining which Illinois business structure is best suited for your business objectives.

Basic Estate Planning

It doesn’t matter your net worth is or isn’t… What’s important is to have a basic estate plan in place, which ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die.

A proper estate plan has contains several elements, which include: a will; a power of attorney for property; and a living will and a health care power of attorney. For some people, a trust may also make sense. When putting together a plan, you must be mindful of both federal and state laws governing estates.

The following are few things you need to get your affairs in order.

Assets Inventory: Your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, and any real estate or business interests. Ask yourself three questions: Whom do you want to inherit your assets? Whom do you want handling your financial affairs if you’re ever incapacitated? Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself?

A Will: A will states exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die. It’s also the best place to name guardians for your children if you have any. Dying without a will can be costly to your heirs and leaves you no say over who gets your assets as the whole matter will end up on Probate Court. Even if you have a trust, you still need a will to take care of any holdings outside of that trust when you die.

A Living Will: Also known as an advance medical directive, is a statement of your wishes for the kind of life-sustaining medical intervention you want, or don’t want, in the event that you become terminally ill and unable to communicate.

A Trust: Trusts are legal mechanisms that let you put conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. They also allow you to reduce your estate and gift taxes and to distribute assets to your heirs without the cost, delay and publicity of probate court, which administers wills. Some also offer greater protection of your assets from creditors and lawsuits.

In all cases, it is highly recommended that your seek the advise of an attorney who is well versed in Estate Planning Law. They will guide you though the process of creating a personalized Estate Plan that will properly take care of matters as you wished after your death.

The Real Estate purchase agreement is the most important document in the transaction. Although standard printed forms are useful, it is recommended that you have a lawyer with Illinois Real Estate transaction knowledge explaining the form and making changes and additions to reflect the buyer's and or the seller's desires.

There are several issues that may need to be addressed in the purchase agreement; below are some common examples:

If the property has been modified or there has been an addition to the property, was it done lawfully, with permits?
If the buyer has plans to change the property, may what is planned for the property, what are the zoning restrictions, etc.?
What happens if a buyer has a home inspector inspect the property and discovers termites, asbestos, radon, or lead-based paint is found?
What if the property is found to contain hazardous waste?
Is the closing appropriately conditioned upon the buyer obtaining financing?
What are the legal consequences if the closing does not take place on time, and what happens to the down payment?
Most buyers finance a substantial portion of the purchase price for a home with a mortgage loan from a lending institution. The purchase agreement should contain a carefully worded provision that it is subject to the buyer's obtaining a commitment for financing.

Mortgage loan commitments and mortgage loan documents are complex. Seek advise from an Illinois Real Estate Lawyer and let them review and explain the importance of these various documents.

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