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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Business and commercial law considerations for small companies

Starting a small business requires an entrepreneur to make many important legal and financial decisions that will impact the course of the business for years to come. According to the Small Business Administration, approximately 50% of Americans are involved in a small business, which amounts to around 30 million businesses. Before a person joins these numbers, he or she would be wise to consider what business and commercial law guidance is necessary to lay the groundwork for long-term success.

Many small businesses don't survive. Statistics suggest that as many as three quarters of all startups do not make it to the 15-year mark. Prospective and budding Oregon entrepreneurs can take heed of specific things that will help them avoid complications. One of these things is to consider the practical issues first, such as whether a storefront is necessary and where the location should be. 

Tips for success during the business formation process

Starting a new business in Oregon can be an exciting process, but it is also one that can come with a few risks. The business formation process can feel complex and confusing, and there are certain things that new entrepreneurs will want to do in order to ensure that they are on the path to long-term success. When they know what to expect and how to prepare for it, they will be able to avoid many problems often associated with new businesses.

While an entrepreneur may be very good at certain aspects of running his or her business, such as creating new products, he or she may not be as great at the legal and financial requirements of running a company. For example, one of the first things a business will have to do is to decide on a business entity. Often, the owner may not know what that means or which type is the best option.

Simple steps for entrepreneurs to avoid business litigation

Owning and operating a small business in Oregon is no easy feat. It can be costly, stressful and take years of hard work just to reach a point of stability. Because of what is at stake, entrepreneurs would be wise to take steps to avoid business litigation in every way they can. Legal issues can cost a significant amount of money, and these matters can be damaging for personnel and the company's reputation.

Employment issues are a common reason for litigation for small businesses. Disgruntled employees can file lawsuits and loudly protest their treatment, and it's not always easy to resolve these disputes. One way that an owner can avoid many of these problems is to have strong, properly drafted employee contracts. These agreements can clearly outline expectations for all parties, reasons for termination, vacation leave and other matters than can potentially lead to confusion and issues.

More women are starting the business formation process

It's not easy to start a business in Oregon and take the necessary steps for it to succeed. In the past, the small business world has been dominated by men, but recent numbers reveal that more women are starting the business formation process. Statistics find that four out of every 10 businesses started are owned and operated by women, and many of these are women of color.

Every day, an average of 1,800 new businesses are started by women. This means it is especially important for women to know how to protect their legal and financial interests during this process, and know what they can do to lay the foundation for continued success well into the future. Companies owned by women employ over nine million people across the United States, which amounts to around 8% of the private workforce.

Uber facing business litigation over employee classification

The rideshare business is thriving, with many people opting to pay for drivers as needed instead of using public transportation or paying for taxis. Other times, Oregon readers may prefer to call for an Uber instead of driving themselves on a night out. Despite its popularity and continued growth, Uber is facing business litigation as a result of the way the company currently classifies its drivers. 

Drivers who work for the company are classified as contract employees. Many of them believe they are improperly classified, which means they are not eligible for things such as overtime pay, minimum wage and more. The state in which this lawsuit was filed recently passed laws that seemingly will require the company to reclassify drivers, but the company says they will not have to. They plan to fight the lawsuit in court.

Popular dairy farm facing business litigation over ads

Tillamook is a popular producer of dairy products and a well-loved tourist attraction in Oregon. The company says that most of its dairy product comes from small farms and that it has a commitment to treating animals well. However, some people claim that the advertisements from the company are not true, and as a result, the company is facing business litigation.

A lawsuit alleges that the the company does not actually get a lot of its dairy from small farms. Supposedly, much of it comes from a large producer that is actually the state's biggest dairy farm. In the class action suit, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the company is accused of deceiving buyers by hiding behind the claim that it uses small farms that are dedicated to animal welfare.

Commercial lease tips for small business owners

People must be catching on to how cool Portland is, because the area has seen an uptick in population and development in recent years. According to the World Population Review, the city has been growing by about 10,000 people annually since 2010, when the last census was taken.

With more people in the city, more commercial property has been popping up, as well. But, of course, the growth puts leases on such property at a premium.

Business formation for companies that will sell food

For an Oregon entrepreneur who has dreamed of opening his or her own restaurant or food business, it can be exciting to watch that dream finally take shape. During the business formation stage, it is easy to see how excitement can cause a person to rush ahead with certain things, but there are many important things for a business owner to take into consideration. This is especially true for a food service business or company that will make or sell food products.

There are specific laws in place that dictate how business can sell prepared food. Oregon laws mandate how companies that want to make and sell food do certain things, like handling prepared food, storing food products and more. The state will also do inspections before a business can open, and the company will be subject to other evaluations on occasion.

Businesses need people to “like” them, too

As an entrepreneur, you probably developed an incredibly creative product to market to your potential customers. And while you may love devoting time to refining your business plan or dreaming about your future success, you must actively develop brand loyalty.

With advances in technology also come changes in marketing. You might still be able to utilize traditional forms of advertising, such as a billboard or ad in the paper. However, if well executed, you can quickly form connections online.

Careful planning during the business formation process is crucial

Starting a new business is no easy feat. It takes hard work, perseverance, money for start-up costs and a strong action plan to make it through the business formation stage. Because of the complexity of this process, an aspiring Oregon entrepreneur will want to consider legal factors and other issues when drafting a business plan.

Every new company will find it beneficial to think carefully through the process of drafting its business plan. One of the key components of having a strong plan is to have a strong vision for the business. This includes a vision and plan for the earliest stages that will drive the operations of the entire company toward reaching specific goals. Having a plan of action is a smart step and will help the business stay on track in its pursuit of success.

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