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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Why customer service is an important factor in business

Owning and operating a business involves numerous challenges, many of which rest on the risks you face. While you might worry about managing your workforce and establishing your brand, the service you provide can significantly affect your ongoing success.

Providing quality customer service can challenge entrepreneurs, especially those with limited resources. Yet, regardless of whether you need to determine which structure is best or regroup after a business interruption, it’s necessary to understand the importance of how you regard those in need of your product or service.

Choosing the right entity during the business formation process

Starting a business involves making important financial and legal decisions regarding operations, liability and taxes. Choosing the right entity during business formation is important, and the appropriate choice depends on the preferences of the owner, the type of company and the long-term goals of the owner. One of the most popular options is an LLC, limited liability company, which limits the personal liability of an Oregon owner for business-related obligations. 

LLC is a popular choice for many because it protects the financial interests of the business owner. An LLC is a separate legal entity, and it is often the most practical option for those who are running a business without a partner. In terms of taxation, an owner of an LLC will pay taxes on payments he or she receives from the company as personal income. It is possible to opt for an LLC with multiple owners.

Business contracts: understanding non-compete agreements

Certain types of legal agreements allow a business to protect its competitive advantage and proprietary information. Through non-compete agreements or including certain terms in business contracts, an Oregon company is able to keep closely held information safe, even if an employee leaves to work for another company. Some businesses require employees to sign these agreements as a condition of their employment.

Non-compete agreements can differ from company to company, depending on the type of business, the role of the employee and the competition. The intent of these agreements is to give employers control over the actions of an employee in the future, typically preventing the employee from working for the competition. There may be terms regarding how long these restrictions will last and even a geographical range for where a former employee may or may not work.

What business assets depreciate?

Office space and other equipment are essential to owning a business. The items you purchase for your business can help you increase profits and boost productivity for you and your staff.

The assets you purchase for your business can also be an important deduction on your taxes each year. Before you start deducting the items you have purchased, it is vital to understand which items depreciate and what that means for your taxes.

Getting through your first tax audit

When you own a business, tax time can seem like a nightmare. Between deductions and expenses, it can be challenging to know what you are supposed to do.

After feverishly working through filing your taxes, it can seem especially frustrating to find the IRS has chosen your business for an audit.

Going on the offensive after breaches of business contracts

Formally drafted legal agreements are some of the most powerful tools available to Oregon business owners. Contracts allow a business to work with another party while minimizing risks, lowering the chance of financial loss and ensuring all parties adhere to the terms of the agreement. Contacts are useful in many business relationships, such as with employees, third parties, customers and suppliers.

When one party breaches the terms of the agreement, the other party may experience financial loss and other complications. This is much more than an inconvenience for a business, and it's appropriate to go on the offensive to hold the other party accountable. Through discussions or even litigation, it is possible to secure damages and seek other remedies that may be available.

Crucial matters entrepreneurs must not overlook

The business ideas have percolated in your head for a few years, and now you are ready to take that giant step toward starting your own company. It is a risk, but a calculated one. The excitement and confidence are there and so is the nervousness.

In creating a blueprint for a successful business, you must research, understand, and, especially, not overlook any necessities as well as the costs associated with them. A quick start does not ensure a smooth finish, and you want to avoid any potential mistakes.

What does business interruption insurance cover?

Many businesses purchase insurance coverage designed to protect their income and long-term health in case of a catastrophic event, such as a fire or natural disaster. Insurers offer business interruption policies to provide that protection.

However, companies must precisely understand what these policies cover. As the current pandemic has caused dire consequences for numerous companies, it's estimated that nearly half of all commercial insurance policies contain language excluding losses due to a virus or bacteria.

The need to recruit minority entrepreneurs in cannabis industry

Advocates in Portland and the rest of Oregon are pushing for more equality within the cannabis industry, seeking to see additional minority entrepreneurs benefit from potential opportunities. They hope the state remove barriers, while also recruiting and encouraging more people of color to participate.

Portland actually has taken the biggest steps in the state to discuss this issue in order to boost business prospects for potential cannabis entrepreneurs hailing from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. And like nearly all start-up business owners, this group, too, would benefit from guidance along the way.

Fighting back when business managers face lawsuits

Depending on the structure of an Oregon business, an owner may not be liable if his or her business faces a lawsuit. For example, in a limited liability company or certain types of corporation structures, business managers are likely not at risk of losing personal assets in the event the company loses a legal battle. However, there are times when these assets could be at risk, and this is why it's crucial to take quick action to protect both professional and personal interests.

Business lawsuits can be the result of decisions made by managers and directors. These choices are made with the intent of protecting the overall financial well-being of the company, as well as the interests of owners, employees and even shareholders. However, when things do not turn out as anticipated and complications arise, managers and directors may be blamed for the results of the decisions they made.

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