February 11, 2015

Legal Dictionary—Intellectual Property

What is “intellectual property”? Intellectual property is any type of idea, invention, or other tangible or intangible work that is protected by common law or statute. While there are federal laws governing the protection of intellectual property rights, there are also various state protections as well. The three most common categories of […]
August 21, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Non-compete Agreement

What is a “non-compete agreement”? Non-compete agreements are contracts in which one party agrees not to compete in the marketplace against another party. Although most often seen in the employment context, non-compete agreements also often appear as part of buying and selling a business. In Illinois, courts generally start from […]
April 1, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Terms

What are “terms”? Every business deal has layers of terms, some of which are more important than others.  We like to call these layers the boulders, rocks, and the sand. Boulders are the biggest terms, the deal breakers.  Often times these are non-negotiable. Rocks are the next level in.  They […]
April 1, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Letter of Intent

What is a “Letter of Intent”? A Letter of Intent, or term sheet, outlines the basic terms of a business deal, making sure the parties understand generally what it will look like and forcing them to think through what the deal breakers are.  It doesn’t do anyone any good to […]
March 28, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Assumed Name

What is an “assumed name”? An “assumed name,” “dba,” or “doing business as” is a name that an individual or an entity uses to do business separate and apart from their official or legal name.   In Illinois, individuals must register an assumed name with the county in which they are […]
February 19, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Joint Venture

What is a “joint venture”? A joint venture is formed when two or more people or entities join forces to undertake a common and defined business opportunity.  Illinois courts consider the following things in determining if a joint venture exists:  (a) whether the business owners have a common purpose in […]
February 10, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Professional Corporation

What is a “professional corporation”? In our last post, we discussed the importance of the corporate shield or veil, and how it can limit the liability for shareholders, officers, and directors. There are some instances, however, where those individuals will have personal liability no matter whether they are incorporated or […]
February 10, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Corporate Shield

What is the “corporate shield” or “corporate veil”? The “corporate shield” or “corporate veil” is the idea that the shareholders, officers, and directors of a corporation will not be held personally liable for the actions of the corporation.  It is also available to some other types of entities, such as […]
January 21, 2014

Legal Dictionary—Fiduciary Duties

What are “fiduciary duties”? Certain positions that individuals hold cause them to have a responsibility to others to act in their best interests, to look out for their financial well-being, and to otherwise deal fairly with them.  These responsibilities are called “fiduciary duties.” Fiduciary duties can be as a result […]
November 19, 2013

Legal Dictionary—Director

What is a “director”? In our post about corporations, we mentioned that they are general run by a board of directors.  The board may be composed of any number of directors, depending on the size of the corporation.  The directors set the direction that the corporation will go in its […]
November 4, 2013

Legal Dictionary—Corporation

What is a “corporation”? A corporation is a legal entity that can own property, enter into contracts, employ people, and otherwise transact business.  In Illinois, the rules that govern corporations are found in the Business Corporations Act.  The Secretary of State authorizes the corporation to exist by approving the articles […]