Business Law

Purchase & Sale of Businesses

Business Entity Formation, Advising, & Administration

When business clients seek legal counsel from the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt, they receive the benefit of nearly four decades of experience acquired assisting hundreds of clients with the day-to-day issues that threaten their bottom line. Our focus on long-term relationships over short-term profits is why many of our clients rely on our law firm as their outside general counsel for legal advice, commercial transactions, and business litigation. We often function as our client’s full-time general counsel when businesses do not have the need or budget to maintain a full-time general counsel in-house. Mr. Arendt has built his reputation on furnishing the high-quality legal advice and representation of large Chicago law firms merged with the efficiency, economy, and individual attention of a small firm. Our clients include business entities and equity owners of all types, such as:

Domestic and foreign companies, Entrepreneurs, & Startups

  • Privately held companies
  • Family owned businesses
  • Emerging companies
  • Private equity firms
  • Non-Profits
  • Venture backed companies
  • Management groups

Business Solutions Based on 38 Years of Experience & Expertise Facing Complex and Challenging Legal Issues

Chicago Area Business Law Attorney Richard J. Arendt provides a full range of legal services to businesses ranging from closely held family businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Arendt counsels business owners through all stages of the lifespan of a commercial entity commencing with business formation and strategic planning; continuing through operational and compliance matters; and culminating with expansion through merger, acquisition, or business succession issues. Some of the legal services our law firm can include the following:

Selection of the right structure of operation

  • Advice on venture capital and financing arrangements
  • International transactions
  • Technology transactions and license issues
  • Private equity and venture capital matters
  • E-commerce
  • Corporate governance counseling
  • Legal counsel, negotiation, and drafting of basic to sophisticated commercial agreements
  • Acquisitions, mergers, and other business combinations/divestitures
  • Commercial real estate transactions and leases
  • Employment-related agreements (Non-disclosures, severance agreements, non-competes)
  • Negotiating commercial transactions
  • Regulatory and legal compliance
  • Executive compensation issues
  • Energy transactions
  • Structuring commercial transactions
  • Preparation of documents to effectuate commercial transactions
  • Commercial litigation disputes

When our clients seek out the legal counsel of our law firm regarding business formation issues, we consider all issues relevant to our client’s business objectives and industry conditions. We routinely assist our clients in structuring new business entities. During the process of developing a new business entity, we provide guidance and insight regarding company governance, operational and decision-making structure, regulatory compliance issues, contractual relationships, and other areas essential to our clients’ success.

Cost-Effective & Innovative Business Solutions

Based on nearly four decades of experience, Mr. Arendt has the knowledge and expertise to help guide business owners to cost-effective, creative, and practical solutions to business issues and commercial disputes. Our law firm works closely with clients to acquire an understanding of their business, market conditions, and industry so that we can help our clients accurately evaluate their strategic and legal options. Our record successfully assisting many businesses in a wide range of commercial transactions and litigation matters has furnished our firm with a realistic basis for the assessment of the benefits, costs, and merits of prospective business solutions.

We invite you to schedule an initial consultation with Chicago Business Lawyer Richard J. Arendt, so we can provide more information about our legal services and answer questions that impact you and your business. Our business law firm represents clients in transactional and litigation matters in the greater Chicago area as well as the following Counties: Cook County, Du Page County, Will County, Lake County, McHenry County, Kane County, and Boone County.


Purchase & Sale of Businesses

Buying & Selling Businesses in Illinois

When you are contemplating a decision to buy or sell a business, a thorough legal review and analysis of your financial position is essential to ensure that your financial well-being is protected.  At the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt, we have extensive knowledge of all facets of the sale or purchase of a business, including corporate mergers, business partnership purchases, partnership dissolutions, and bulk asset sales.  Mr. Arendt has 38 years of experience efficiently handling the purchase and sale of businesses of different forms in a wide array of industries.  This experience can avoid an overly narrow focus on the bottom-line that results in overlooking minor details that can become major issues down the road.

Negotiation, Strategic Planning, Drafting, & Review of Stock & Asset Sales

Our Chicago Area law firm can provide valuable legal counsel and representation to clients considering the purchase or sale of a business including:

  • Confirming that zoning of the real property allows for the intended operation of the business
  • Evaluating the business to assess compliance with state, county, and local law
  • Negotiation, drafting, and analysis of deal documents, such as the promissory note and security agreement
  • Analyze, prepare, or modify a purchase agreement to ensure it adequately protects your interests
  • Identify potential risks and needed protections like a non-compete agreement
  • Defining the assets being purchased (i.e. name and associated goodwill, trademarks, and other intellectual property)

Whether buying or selling a business, there are a range of other considerations that must be evaluated to confirm the transaction is in our client’s best interest.  If our client is purchasing a business, an initial determination must be made regarding whether the transaction will involve the purchase of corporate assets or shares of stock.  Mr. Arendt also can conduct due diligence research to alert clients regarding potential civil liabilities, outstanding tax obligations, pending lawsuits, and unreleased liens.

When our client is selling a business, the structure of the transaction must be considered.  Decisions regarding the structure and financing of the deal must be evaluated in light of the financials of the business and buyer to confirm the seller will receive all of the money to which he or she is entitled according to the terms of the sale.  Our law firm can arm sellers with the resources and advocacy necessary to protect their financial interests.

Buying a business can be perilous and so can selling a business without sound legal counsel.  Mr. Arendt guides clients through every step of a business purchase or sale, so our clients have peace of mind that their decisions are right for their business.  There are many questions that purchasers must ask sellers along with a wide range of issues that a buyer cannot take for granted.  Mr. Arendt advises clients, so these questions and issues are addressed and resolved before consummation of the transaction.  Our Illinois business selling and buying law firm can assist clients in navigating the entire process.  This process includes advising on pre-negotiating issues, conducting negotiation of deal terms, drafting the formal agreement, conducting the pre-closing review, and handling the closing.

We invite you to schedule an initial consultation with Richard J. Arendt so that we can help you navigate the purchase or sale process.  Our law firm represents clients in the greater Chicagoland area as well as the following Counties: Cook County, Du Page County, Will County, Lake County, McHenry County, Kane County, and Boone County.


Business, Employment, & General Contract

Effective Evaluation, Negotiation, & Drafting of Contracts in Cook County

Whether you are hiring an employee, protecting your intellectual property, or negotiating a favorable vendor relationship, the contracts that define, these relationships are essential to a successful business. Skillfully crafted contracts establish the expectations of the parties and enumerate important legal rights. Chicago Contract Attorney Richard J. Arendt recognizes the role skillfully negotiated and drafted commercial agreements can have in preventing disputes that result in costly litigation. Our business clients benefit from artfully constructed contracts that provide an effective means of safeguarding their rights and resources.

Constructing Contracts That Mitigate Liability Risks & Maximize Profitability

At the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt, we recognize that the financial success of our clients is closely tied to the quality of their contractual relationships with vendors, clientele, employees, and others. Mr. Arendt has nearly four decades of legal experience providing reliable counsel based on his analysis of potential contract terms and language. We understand that our ability to provide the best legal advice to our business clients rests on acquiring an in-depth understanding of their business goals, concerns, and market. Mr. Arendt communicates closely with clients to obtain the information we need to maximize the value of our representation when negotiating and evaluating contractual terms for our clients. Our focus on listening to our clients and developing outside the box innovative solutions promotes skillful drafting that avoids ambiguity and costly disputes.

Contracts and Agreements for Illinois Businesses

At our Illinois business agreement law firm, we often see companies harmed by one-size-fits-all agreements. Business contracts need to be narrowly tailored based on relevant factors that might include size, type, and location of a company among many other relevant considerations. One-size-fits-all business contracts cannot be relied on to focus on protecting your interest. Richard J. Arendt meticulously drafts business contracts to fit with and promote the specific business needs of his clients. When our law firm drafts your agreement, the document will promote your interests, protect your business, fit your needs, and comply with Illinois and U.S. laws. Whether a business needs legal advice, drafting services for a specific document in a transaction, or outside counsel services for the full spectrum of agreements, our offices can help. Mr. Arendt provides legal advice and representation for the full range of business and general contracts including:

Financing Agreements

  • Indemnity Agreement
  • Security Agreement
  • Escrow Agreement
  • Promissory Note (Secured or Unsecured)
  • Guaranty Agreement

Sale or Lease Related Contracts

  • Bill of Sale
  • Warranty
  • Equipment Lease
  • Purchase Order
  • Agreement for the Sale of Goods
  • Lease of Real Property

General Business Contracts

  • Partnership Agreement
  • Franchise Agreement
  • Covenant Not to Sue
  • Agreement for Sell of Business
  • Advertising Agreement
  • Release or Settlement Agreement
  • Joint Venture Agreement
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Employment Agreements to Limit Liability and Protect Confidential Information

Well-crafted employment contracts define the rights and duties of employees and managers while limiting the risk of theft or disclosure of proprietary information, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property. Skillful drafting and execution of employment contracts can mitigate concerns about hiring and terminating employees. Mr. Arendt advises Illinois business clients regarding all types of labor and employment-related agreements for small businesses, large multi-national corporations, and government agencies. Employment contracts can deter lawsuits initiated by employees on an individual basis or in a class action lawsuit. Some of the types of employment-related contracts that Mr. Arendt drafts for clients include:

  • Employment and Compensation Contract
  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Covenant Not to Compete
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Severance Contract

Mr. Arendt frequently reviews existing agreements governing independent contractors, employees, and executive compensation to identify potential liability issues. Our law firm also drafts all of the employment-related contracts for newly formed companies. Our goal is to craft effective contracts that discourage litigation of employment issues while protecting our clients from disclosure of confidential information by disgruntled former employees.

We offer a no obligation free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation and determine your needs. The Law Office of Richard J. Arendt provides legal advice and contract services for business in Chicago and the following counties: Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County.


Employment Law

The relationship between an employee and an employer can be a complex matter that involves issues regarding how a company is managed and have serious future implications for an employee’s and a company’s financial future. Moreover, the employer-employee relationship is governed by a maze of laws and administrative agencies. Employment law litigation, if an issue reaches that stage, can be filled with unexpected contingencies and involve not only financial but also emotional and manpower costs for everyone involved.

If you are an employee or an employer, you should consult with a seasoned attorney if you find yourself facing employment law issues. The Law Office of Richard J. Arendt has been serving clients in the greater Chicagoland area for over 38 years. Richard and his associates can provide you with expert legal advice to help you vindicate your employment rights, if you are an employee, or if you are an employer, provide you with your best options for managing your workforce legally and efficiently.

Employment law covers a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Employment Agreements – Sometimes, an employer may choose to execute an employment agreement with its workers setting forth the terms of their employment relationship. It usually provides an accurate description of the job, the terms of compensation, the duration of the employment relationship, and benefits. Often, employment agreements include the employer’s written policies (often called the employee handbook) that the employee agrees to abide by, including disciplinary actions for misconduct, grounds for termination, and the method for resolve employment disputes.
  • Non-compete Clauses – When a potential employee gains access to sensitive business information or trade secrets upon becoming employed with a company, employment agreements will often contain non-competition clauses. These agreements work by making an employee agree not to work for a direct competitor of the employer for a specified period after leaving his or her employment. Trade secrets may involve a formula, program, device, technique, method, process, or pattern that gives a company a competitive advantage because it is not known and cannot be readily learned by other companies who might benefit from it. Non-compete agreements must be reasonable in that a legitimate business reason must drive them, have a limited duration and geographic reach, and must not prohibit employees from engaging in a wide scope of businesses.
  • Discrimination and Harassment – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, along with state statutes and municipal ordinances, prohibit employers from engaging in adverse actions against employees if motivated by a protected category such as race, gender, religion, national origin, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, and marital status. At the federal level, claims of discrimination may be brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if it covers a category protected by Title VII. Additionally, claims of discrimination and harassment may also be brought before state fair employment practice agencies if they are alleging conduct motivated by protected categories that the state recognizes. In Illinois, the state’s Department of Human Rights enforces its laws against discrimination, which recognizes the bases enumerated above, in addition to arrest records, status as a victim of domestic violence, an order of protection, or the lack of a permanent mailing address or the use of the address of a shelter or social service provider.
  • Workers’ Compensation – The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to provide employees with benefits if they suffer injury arising out of and in the course of their employment. These benefits include medical expenses, benefits for temporary total disability or permanent partial disability, and death benefits for surviving families. Disputes regarding workers’ compensation in the state are resolved by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
  • Wages & Leave – There are various federal and state laws governing minimum wage and overtime, as well as employee leave. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, and Illinois wage laws enforced by the Illinois Department of Labor.
  • Occupational Safety & Health – Federal and Illinois state laws contain provisions that are aimed to protect the health and safety of employees by ensuring safe working conditions and that occupational hazards are sufficiently controlled or eliminated. These requirements are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor for private employees and by the Illinois Department of Labor for state employees.

Employers must ensure that they are compliant with these various statutory and regulatory requirements by the federal and Illinois state governments. This includes ensuring that workplace policies are well crafted and thoughtful in setting out rules of conduct for the workplace, and ensuring that employee disputes are handled in a procedurally and legally sound manner. For employees, these laws set forth many of their rights as employees and provide avenues for redress either with federal state and administrative agencies or in federal or state court.

If you live in the greater Chicagoland area, including Boone, Cook, Du Page, Kane, McHenry, Lake, and Will counties, Richard Arendt can provide you with expert legal representation in employment law issues as an employer or as an employee. Richard Arendt is a dedicated Counselor with over 38 years of experience representing clients before administrative tribunals and federal and state courts.


Environmental Law

Business owners have to contend with numerous regulations and agencies that they have to ensure compliance with to maintain their operations. One of these regulations is environmental in nature and may issue from both federal and state agencies. Depending on the nature of your business, there are a variety of environmental laws and complex procedural and registration requirements for which you have to comply.

You should consult with an experienced counsel if you own business and want to ensure its compliance with federal and state environmental laws. The Law Office of Richard J. Arendt has been serving clients in the greater Chicagoland area for over 38 years and can provide you with seasoned legal advice to ensure your business complies with all relevant environmental requirements and avoid costly problems later on.

There are a variety of environmental issues that businesses have to contend with, including:

  • Land Use – Projects involving the development of real estate, including the design, development, and approval of large commercial, residential, or industrial land use projects, can involve a variety of approving agencies, local boards, and regulations. Businesses who are seeking to develop real estate may have to submit applications to these local bodies for approval. They also need to ensure that they are familiar and in compliance with land use codes dealing with environmental implications of land use. These issues may include variances, special use permits, plat or subdivision approval, annexation or condemnation, or even eminent domain.
  • Clean Air Act – The Clean Air Act is a federal statute enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. If your business may be a source of air pollution, then you may be required to obtain operating permits under Title V of the Clean Air Act. These may include businesses that engage in chemical, glass, and metal manufacturing or that use incineration units.
  • Clean Water Act – If your business operates near protected wetlands or puts out water pollution, there are specific permit requirements under the Clean Water Act. These permits involve operating near wetlands if your business discharges dredged or fill materials into U.S. waters. The Clean Water Act also affects businesses that discharge wastewater to surface water or a municipal sewer and requires them to apply for a permit.
  • Endangered Species Act – This law may require you to acquire a permit from other federal agencies if your business activities affect threatened or endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Services, or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources issue these permits, depending on the species involved.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Permits. This act is a federal program that manages hazardous waste from beginning to end. It regulates the creation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes. If your business is creating or disposing of hazardous waste, then you will need a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or the EPA.

The complex maze of federal and state environmental laws can make compliance a difficult task. There are multiple regulatory agencies that may be involved. If you are a business owner, you should seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you interpret the numerous environmental requirements and implement the necessary steps to achieve compliance. The Law Office of Richard J. Arendt is dedicated to providing expert counsel in the greater Chicagoland area, including Boone, Cook, Du Page, Kane, McHenry, Lake, and Will counties. Richard J. Arendt has decades of experience helping business owners comply with the numerous environmental requirements coming from federal and state sources.