One of the most difficult challenges a small business faces is timely access to competent and affordable legal counsel. The Small Business Administration defines a small business as an independent business employing fewer than 500 employees.

According to the SBA, small businesses:

Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
Employ about half of all private sector employees.
Pay 43 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
Have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
Hire 43 percent of high tech workers (scientists, engineers, computer programmers and others).
Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
Made up of 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
Produce 16.5 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

Source at http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sbfaq.pdf

Legal Risks

Small businesses often take on avoidable risks that could lead to devastating consequences. Let’s face it. As a business leader, your time is spent running your company, not dealing with legal problems. Besides, legal problems are something that happens to other companies, not yours, right? According to the SBA, think again. In a study commissioned by the SBA investigating the impact of litigation on small businesses, the SBA noted that an average civil case can cost from $50,000 – 100,000.
Source at http://archive.sba.gov/advo/research/rs265tot.pdf.

At Tsamis Law Firm, we follow a two-tiered approach in serving our clients: provide counsel designed to avoid/reduce exposure and litigation; and provide affordable, competent legal services if litigation occurs.

We work with our small business clients in the following areas:

Agreements/Contracts: Agreements (also known as contracts) are the core documents that spell out a party’s duties and obligations in a specific undertaking. Agreements are critical to avoid misunderstanding later and are the blueprint for how a relationship between parties is to be conducted, including how disputes are to be handled if they arise.

Human Resources/Personnel: A company’s success and profitability depends on its workforce. Our firm works with you to establish and draft key documents pertaining to the employment relationship including policies, handbooks, and employee agreements. Additionally, we work with you to interpret and advise you on the myriad of labor and employment regulations that impact your specific industry and business.

Representation Before Administrative Agencies: Being in business also means being subject to numerous regulations that are overseen by a variety of agencies such as: Department of Labor, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and OSHA. Our firm can provide counsel and advice or full-scale representation in any matter before these agencies.

Litigation: One of the most dreaded moments in business is being served with a lawsuit. Our firm is prepared to fully represent your business and protect your interests. We apply efficient lawyering with a deep knowledge base of court rules and procedures to obtain the best outcome possible for your company’s unique situation.

Training: Our firm has developed training modules on a variety of topics such as: hiring, discipline, termination; discrimination, bullying and anti-harassment; and other relevant topics. Theses training modules can be customized to meet your company’s specific needs.

House Counsel Advantage: Our firm offers the House Counsel Advantage. House Counsel Advantage is a program that allows you to have access to one of our attorneys when you need advice. We designed this program for those companies that do not have dedicated in-house counsel. Have a question about a lease? Need to know if you can hire someone as an independent contractor? Need someone to deal with a difficult employee or customer issue? Pick up the phone or email us. That’s how simple it is when you’re connected with House Counsel Advantage.