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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Managing a business’s reputation online is critical

In the age of technology and social media, businesses have more access to consumers than ever before. They can advertise their products or even provide services directly to consumers through smartphones that are always on their person.

However, the internet can also be a significant risk for businesses. According to Entrepreneur, companies are at risk of losing roughly 22% of business if consumers read negative articles or news about the company.

Good contracts help partnerships work well

When two or more people go into business together, it can work well as each person brings different strengths and perspectives to the table. However, these types of relationships can break down over time, and what was once a beneficial partnership can become problematic. This is why strong partnership contracts are good for each person involved and the long-term health of the Oregon business. 

The foundation of a good partnership agreement is a good contract. These legally binding agreements can protect the interests of both parties in various types of contingencies, making it easier to resolve disputes and shield the profitability of the company from impacts caused by personal problems. In a partnership agreement, there should be clear terms for dealing with disagreements and resolving conflict between partners.

Walk through the business formation process or buy a franchise?

Many people want to work for themselves by starting their own business. However, the business formation process is complex, and it's hard to get a new venture off the ground. For this reason, some budding entrepreneurs in Oregon may find it beneficial to buy a franchise as well. Moving forward with either process is a major decision, and it's important to understand the legal and financial implications of both.

One of the most complex aspects of franchising is the financing. It can require large sums of money to buy a franchise, and financing is often crucial to making this process happen. One of the benefits of a franchise is that it doesn't require starting from scratch, and an entrepreneur can simply work off the existing business model, branding and marketing. This can be easier in some ways, especially since an owner will not have to establish any name recognition as this is already done.

Cannabis company facing fines and potential business litigation

Cannabis is a big industry in Oregon, and one of the leading cannabis companies in the state is facing expensive fines and legal complications due to what some consider questionable business practices. Business litigation and penalties from the state government can happen when there are preventable issues that could mislead or cause consumers harm. In this case, Cura Cannabis was accused of mislabeling certain vaping products it produces and distributes.

When it comes to vaping and products that involve consumable products, proper labeling is crucial. The state says that the company wrongfully claimed almost 200,000 vapes were 100% marijuana when there were actually other additives used in the product. The company will have to pay the biggest fine levied against a cannabis company since the state began giving marijuana businesses licenses to operate in 2016. The fine amounts to $110,000.

Practical advice for the business formation stage

Starting a business is an exciting step, but it is also a process that comes with certain challenges. Steps taken and decisions made will impact an Oregon business long-term, which is why a potential entrepreneur will find it beneficial to do sufficient research and preparation before moving forward. Business formation is not always easy, and it is important to get the timing right on this major transition.

One thing that entrepreneurs may not consider before starting a business is how to deal with employees. Growth means there will likely be a need to hire other people, which can be a difficult for someone who is used to having a hand in every aspect of the company operations. Good training and solid employment contracts can benefit all parties.

What provisions should I put in my confidentiality agreement?

Businesses require a variety of tools to remain successful. One of, if not the most important for a business’s long-term prosperity is its intellectual property. When starting your dream company, you may be doing so because you have ideas that can make you stand out in a competitive market.

However, when getting started, you may be working with third-parties who you’ll have to relay sensitive information to. If that’s the case, you could run the risk of your ideas getting into the hands of competitors. Sadly, this could put your business in financial ruin if you’re not careful.

Business litigation initiated after Oregon farm left short-handed

A hemp farm in Oregon has taken legal action after a company that was contracted to harvest the product did not show up and do the job. The hemp farm initiated business litigation, suing for millions of dollars after a co-op allegedly failed to meet its contractual obligations. The co-op was comprised of a group of harvesters and processors that connected with the farm through social media.

The lawsuit is against three different companies and four individuals. Reportedly, none of the parties came to the hemp farm and assisted or worked as part of the harvesting process, even though they were paid six figures. The amount sought through lawsuit amounts to $11 million. According to the claim, the co-op sent two notes to the farm stating it would pay back a specific amount of the money given to the co-op, though this never occurred. 

Alleged overcharging leads to business litigation

Ruby Receptionists, a company that offers phone-answering services to other clients, finds itself facing legal complications after being accused overcharging its customers. The company disputes the claims, saying that it makes its policies very clear to clients before establishing a business relationship with them. Business litigation for this company could be costly as it is facing a $30 million lawsuit.

The lawsuit specifically states that the company overcharged 18,000 clients by more than $30 million, claiming that the company did not fully disclose its practices before charging for time spent on the phone with clients. The plaintiffs also claim that the Oregon company charged clients for time spent on hold. While defending the way it bills clients, the company offered to settle the matter about charging for hold time for $350,000.

What to expect from a Board of Nursing complaint investigation

As a licensed professional, your license is the key to your livelihood. Without it, you can’t make a career in nursing. That’s exactly why it can be such a gut-punch to find out the Oregon State Board of Nursing launched an investigation after someone made a complaint against you.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the investigation and discipline process.

Hotel facing business litigation over alleged discrimination

An Oregon Marriott location is dealing with legal trouble after a woman was asked to sign a certain waiver upon check-in. The woman filed a lawsuit after the front desk attendant asked her to sign a form that she claims white guests were not required to sign. This was a document saying that the guest assumed responsibility for any damage caused by guests visiting the room. The hotel is now facing business litigation over alleged discrimination.

The woman was visiting family and checked into the hotel for five nights. She says that an employee and the hotel manager required her to sign a "no party" form before she could complete the check-in process. They assured her that this was standard for all guests, but she claims they did not require white guests to do the same.

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