Small business is the driving force behind todayâ€™s recovering economy. Due in no small part to the recent economic decline, the number of small businesses has grown substantially over recent years. Indeed, the number of small businesses providing business services more than doubled between 2007 and 2010 from 2.97 million to 6.03 million. Despite both growth in the number of small businesses and the small business industry in aggregate, these businesses continue to face significant challenges from the fallout of the recession and the failure rate for small businesses increased by more than 40% between 2007 and 2010. Many small businesses simply cannot afford the legal and professional services necessary to navigate the difficulties posed by the current business environment.
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (â€œYLSâ€) and the Small Business Advocacy Council (â€œSBACâ€) partnered to create this flipbook to provide small business owners with general information in a number of areas. Lawyers and business professionals have lent their knowledge and experience to provide insights into various issues that small business owners must address in starting and growing their businesses. This 12-part booklet includes advice on: writing a business plan; physical office space; virtual and shared office space; business to business equipment lease financing; legal structure; registering your business and state, local and federal taxes, permits, licenses; accounting and record keeping; legal steps in hiring, firing and maintaining employees; developing a marketing plan and networking; web and online marketing/presence; and succession planning for small business owners.
While this book cannot and does not provide legal advice, it is intended to educate small business owners about many of the legal and business issues that small businesses face. By its very nature and breadth, this book cannot address every situation a small business might encounter. However, the following provides small business owners with the general framework for understanding how start or grow their businesses. For particular legal or professional questions, the YLS and SBAC encourage readers to seek advice from professionals who can tailor their advice to your particular situation.
We hope that you find this flipbook helpful and we wish you much success in your future endeavors.
Justin Lee Heather
YLS Chair, 2011-2012
SBAC Board of Directors