Business Advising

While some of the services that we provide to our clients are performed in the context of litigation, we provide a variety of services to clients and businesses with the goal of avoiding disputes that find their way to the courtroom. With years of experience serving as general counsel to the boards and executive officers of corporations and other for-profit entities throughout Central Illinois, the attorneys at Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes have the legal knowledge and skills to provide legal guidance from inception of your business to protect your business, grow your business, and make your business more efficient. Good legal advice given to aid your business decision-making process enables you to lay a solid foundation for business growth, change, and success.

Our attorneys serve as valuable consultants for individuals seeking advice on a multitude of business issues, including entity formation and reorganization, contract agreements, and employment related matters. It is crucial to protect your business from the outset to allow for maximum growth while minimizing the chances of future legal difficulties. At Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., we take pride in helping people plan for the success of their business, a plan which should always involve protection against potential future pitfalls.

The benefits of our business advising will be long-lasting for your company, as we strive to develop deep connections of trust with our clients. We offer consulting services in any of the following business areas:

Alcoholic beverages

While we represent businesses of all types, our attorneys have received special attention for their work assisting existing and prospective beer distributorships in navigating the regulatory landscape and obtaining the necessary licensure. The attorneys at Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., have vast experience in the laws relating to the production, distribution, and sale of liquor, beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. We can address your needs in qualification, licensing, business and marketing practices, and represent you before federal and state agencies that regulate alcoholic beverages. Our beverage industry experience has led other counsel to ask us to assist in civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings that may affect alcoholic beverage license privileges.

We are well-versed in the statutes, rules, and policies that apply to alcoholic beverage business operations in all fifty states. We keep our clients up to date with significant legal developments affecting the alcoholic beverage industry. In Illinois, we work with legislators and industry members to improve the state’s alcoholic beverage laws.

We are also very proud of our legislative and regulatory practice in Illinois. Our proximity to the Capitol and to state offices, and our extensive legislative experience, allows our clients to be heard by Illinois decision makers and advised well in advance of trends and developments that could affect their businesses.

Banking law

Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., regularly represents banks and other lending institutions in various contexts. Our present and past clients include commercial banks and their holding companies, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and a number of other regulated financial institutions. Through many years of representing banking associations in legislative issues before the Illinois General Assembly, the firm's attorneys have been influential in molding the state's banking laws. This experience gives our attorneys particular expertise in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, commercial lending, real estate, collections, foreclosures, and management and employment issues. In addition, the firm has often represented banks in their capacity as trustees or executors.

Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., has long been a fixture of the Illinois banking community. In addition to our aggressive lobbying efforts, our attorneys also prolifically represent individual banks in various capacities. We have assisted banks in accomplishing major mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations, and have also provided counsel regarding more routine commercial lending issues. Additionally, our attorneys offer assistance with collection efforts tailored toward achieving results while maintaining cost-efficiency. If you are a lender, we can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of using foreclosure as a collection device, advise you when foreclosure is in your best interest, and help you accomplish the process with minimal delay and expense.

Business Contracts

Virtually every business will inevitably enter into contracts. Whether it is with your landlord, vendors, customers or employees, your small business needs an experienced draftsman to protect its interests. Our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating and drafting commercial contracts in a number of specialized fields, including banking and securities, family-owned businesses, joint ventures, debtor-creditor relations, independent contractors, buy-sell, nondisclosure, bankruptcies, and corporate work-outs.

Many of the legal disputes that small businesses face are a result of poorly written contracts that many times fail to identify what each party’s rights and obligations are. As a result, the parties inevitably go to court and litigate what each side believes are their rights under the contract. Aside from the needless, and potentially crippling, litigation expenses, is your business prepared to wait approximately one year, or more, for the Court to make a decision that may or may not be in your favor? We will help you avoid that possibility by providing a well-written contract that can prevent disputes with employees, shareholders, suppliers, landlords, and even customers. We draft each contract with the assumption that, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

Business Entity Formation

When looking to start a business, the decision of which type of entity to form can have a long-lasting impact on future operations, including taxation and liability issues, management and control of daily operations, and transfer of ownership interests. At Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., our attorneys advise clients on the various entities available to them, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, S corporations, not-for-profit corporations, and limited liability companies. The firm also provides assistance with other start-up issues, such as employee concerns, accounting issues, state or local licensing, leasing or purchasing real estate, and taxation matters.

Forming the correct entity should be one of the first steps to any new business. Our attorneys can assist both new enterprises and existing businesses interested in branching out through the process of forming an appropriate business entity or merging with another business entity to meet their needs and provide favorable tax and liability outcomes. We can advise you about what type of business entity is most appropriate for you and then draft thorough formative documents that clearly establish the rights and duties of stakeholders. Our corporate lawyers can also assist new companies in making the appropriate filings with the Illinois Department of Revenue, the Internal Revenue Service and any other licensing, regulatory or revenue bodies.

Business Taxation

Please visit our Taxation page for more information.

Corporate Governance

Anyone can complete the basic paperwork needed to “incorporate” a business, but having articles of incorporation filed with the Secretary of State means nothing without a comprehensive operating agreement or detailed by-laws. The preparation of articles of incorporation and by-laws, partnership agreements, operating agreements for LLCs, buy-sell agreements, leases and other business contracts are some of the more important documents which we have the expertise to prepare. We will also assist you in observing corporate formalities, such as with meetings of your board of directors and shareholders.

Was your business entity set up by an accountant, or did you do it yourself through the use of forms from an office supply store or from a low-cost online “document preparation” company? We have represented a number of clients who cut corners in that way, and, every time, an ounce of prevention would have been worth a pound of cure. By not investing in a comprehensive operating agreement or detailed by-laws prepared by attorneys, they failed to address particular issues, which resulted in corporate disputes and required costly litigation to resolve.

Contact us today, and allow us to review your “completed” business formation documents. We would be pleased to help you by restructuring and cleaning up your business with customized documents to fit your particular situation.

Employment law

We advise clients on issues relating to hiring decisions, employment policies, arbitration and mediation, compensation and benefits, employment agreements, discipline, layoffs, and terminations.

Healthcare law

Providing knowledgeable, detailed, and comprehensive legal counsel throughout the years, we represent a number of nursing homes throughout Illinois and have represented healthcare professionals in a variety of contexts. Our healthcare team consists of experienced attorneys who guide our clients through the maze of organizational and regulatory complexities that define the healthcare field. We provide expertise in a variety of areas, including: Medicare/Medicaid, compliance, operations, licensing and certification, privacy, fraud and abuse, insurance regulation, ERISA, litigation, labor and employment, and healthcare transactions. Our team combines its knowledge of cutting edge healthcare trends with a specialized legal practice that services the diverse needs of a variety of health care organizations.

Mergers, Acquisitions, Subsidiary Formations

Equally as important, we provide legal counsel and support for established businesses in need of business law services, including preparation of contracts and leases, regulatory compliance and business litigation, taking on a new owner or acquiring a new business, as well as the sale or dissolution of a business.

Real Estate

Please visit our Real Estate page for more information.

If a dispute arises, we are experienced in complex business litigation, including contract issues, shareholder disputes, or insurance coverage matters. If your business is facing litigation, you need reliable and experienced commercial litigation attorneys who can protect your business. From start-up to dissolution, Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C. offers comprehensive business representation.

Contact a law firm that is trusted by businesses throughout Illinois. Our experienced business law attorneys can allow you to conduct your work with the confidence of knowing you have access to sound legal advice. Contact Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C. by calling our office at 217.525.1571 to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer who will take the time to understand your needs and help you structure your business for optimal success.

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1 West Old State Capital Plaza | Suite 600 Myers Building | Springfield, IL 62701