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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Using pre-made business contracts may not be smart

There are many factors that an Oregon business owner has to think about when starting a new business, including how to protect the business during transactions. One of the most important tools available to owners are business contracts, as these agreement can significantly reduce the chance of legal complications or financial loss. There are many options available, including pre-made or pre-printed contracts, but using them may not always be the smartest move.

It's tempting to go for what's easiest, but that is not necessarily what is best. For example, a pre-made contract may include terms that are either not related to the specific issue at hand or could actually expose the company to certain risks. While convenient, it is often most prudent for a business owner to draft contracts that are specifically suited to the needs of the business. 

Contracts provide security for commercial photographers

Starting out as a photographer is a difficult process, as many potential Oregon entrepreneurs find out. This is especially true for individuals who are interested in making a career in commercial photography. Things can be tricky when a person wants to make a living based on his or her personal skills, and there is significant benefit in using contracts for every paying job, even down to the smallest assignment. 

Many photographers have more of a creative mindset than an entrepreneurial one, which is why each photographer should know how to protect his or her legal and financial interests before starting. This includes being very clear about things such as the terms of the agreement, digital rights of images and what to expect at the time of the shoot. It's always better to assume that the client does not understand the legal issues that apply to commercial photography.

The impact of certain choices during the business formation stage

Launching a new company is an exciting time for an Oregon entrepreneur. This step usually comes after months of preparation, planning and organization, and it's easy to understand why a person may be anxious to move forward as quickly as possible. While this enthusiasm is laudable, it's often most prudent to slow down the business formation process in order to make the best possible choices for the future of the small business. 

During the early stages of the business formation process, an owner will make certain choices. These are decisions that will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the direction of the company and daily operations. This includes the choice of entity, which determines things like tax structure and the personal liability of the business owner for business debts. 

Changing decisions made during the business formation process

One of things that is consistently true about owning a business is that things rarely stay the same. Change and adjustment is an inevitable part of running a company, and sometimes, these changes start to impact company operations and other major aspects of a business. In some cases, it is necessary to go back and change decisions made during the business formation process. 

An important aspect of any business is the choice of business structure. This determines many things, including the personal liability of the business owner for company losses, taxes and more. Many business owners choose a structure for their company that works at the time, but after growth and changes, it may be necessary to change the entity. By taking certain steps, an Oregon business owner can make this adjustment.

Well-written contracts can help ensure timely payment

It's important for an Oregon business to get paid for the goods and services it provides to customers. It's frustrating and potentially damaging for a company when a bill remains unpaid or a customer does not pay on time. Through well-written contracts with clear terms, a business can better enforce payment standards and maintain better relationships with customers. 

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Good contracts can prevent many problems with customers. When the method and terms of payment are included in a contract, it can reduce confusion and make it less likely there will be an issue with customers. In reality, a contract can protect the interests of both the clients and the company. One specific thing that is an important element of a good contract is being very specific about how the sale will take place, including when there will be a transfer of goods or performance of a service, and when payment is expected. 

Why should you do legal audits as a new business owner?

As an entrepreneur, starting a new business is an exciting time in your life. Making sure your business is legally viable is an important step.

Conducting a legal audit tests the legality of your business model and ensures that your business is operable. Audits also take note of legal scenarios your business might encounter to make sure your company will be acting according to business laws.

Honesty, contracts may help lessen chances of business litigation

Operating a company is a complex endeavor. Even when Oregon business owners do their best to ensure that their companies run smoothly and on the up-and-up, it is likely that claims against those companies will come about. Business litigation can stem from claims from customers, clients or even individuals in other companies. Fortunately, parties can do their part to lessen the likelihood of legal claims.

Honest business operation is one of the biggest actions that could help prevent serious claims from coming against a company. If the business operates with questionable outside parties, carries out suspicious actions or cuts corners, it is even more likely that legal claims against the company will result. However, if a business owner focuses on ensuring that products and services of top quality are provided and that any business relationships are positive, the company may have a better chance of avoiding conflict.

Tips for surviving the business formation stage

start a business.pngWhen a person is starting a business in Oregon, it is easy to become focused on the future and to run full speed ahead through the start-up stage. The business formation process can be difficult and expensive, and many entrepreneurial ventures never actually make it out of this stage. It's smart to be thoughtful and diligent in the early stages in order to lay the foundation for success in the future. 

One of the smart things a person can do when starting a business is to do his or her homework. This includes homework on the market, industry and other factors, as well as the important legal steps that come with launching a company. An entrepreneur will also want to want to take the time to be smart with both staffing and financing options, especially in the early start-up stages.

The right approach for dealing with business contracts

There are various tools available that can allow Oregon companies to protect their legal and financial interests. This includes various types of business contracts, from agreements with employees to contracts with suppliers. There are steps that a business owner or any party about to enter this type of contract can take to minimize conflict and the potential for litigation in the future. 

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One smart goal for any party in the process of drafting a business contract is to consider the end goal at the very beginning. Keeping the focus on that will lead to stronger, more clear contracts that leave little room for confusion or misinterpretation. It is crucial for the terms of the contract to be clear, including specific terms regarding the obligations and responsibilities of each party.

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