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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Business formation for entrepreneurs in their golden years

Starting a business can be a complex process at any stage of life, but it can be especially tricky for people who are in their golden years. Before starting the business formation process, there are specific things an older Oregon entrepreneur will want to consider. Retirement can be a great time for new things, and that may include starting a new business venture.

One of the first decisions to make when starting a business is choosing a business entity. The structure of a company will determine things such as taxes and the personal liability of the owner for business-related debts. A popular option is a limited liability company, which allows the owner to protect his or her personal assets against creditors seeking payment on company-related liabilities. There are other options for business entities, and the right choice depends on the type of company and the goals of the entrepreneur.

COVID: Oregon small business owners respond

Oregon small business owners are being supported through the COVID-19 pandemic by the Oregon Small Business (SBDC) Network. Are you among the many small business owners struggling to stay afloat during this unprecedented situation? If so, you may want to consider a few ideas that could help you and your business become more resilient and adaptable.

Problems with contracts can negatively impact an Oregon business

Business contracts are important tools that an Oregon business can utilize to protect its interests when working with outside parties and employees. These contracts can ensure that both parties get what they need, and they can significantly reduce the chance of a dispute or confusion over the terms. When there is a breach of contract, it represents the potential for significant financial loss, and it can be grounds to pursue legal action.

Contract disputes and breach of contract can be complex legal situations. It's not easy to know how to proceed or how to make the other party cooperate with the terms of the agreement. Through legal recourse, a business can seek a resolution to the current problem without further financial loss or complication. There are specific remedies that may be available.

Partnership dissolution with minimal disputes

Years ago, you and your business partner may have had a positive working relationship. Whether you were classmates who shared a vision at the time or were childhood friends destined to change the world together, conflict is still possible. Now, you may be of the realization that you no longer agree on the direction in which you want to take your business.

As in any relationship, you may have grown apart without ill will. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, business partnerships end in expensive court battles, with each person trying to get something from the other. However, there are proactive steps you can take to minimize disputes while you dissolve your partnership.

Why legal guidance can prove beneficial during business formation

Starting a small business in Oregon involves much more than just making the choice to launch a company and a good idea. There are both legal and financial considerations that go into the business formation process, and it's sometimes necessary to have help when making important decisions that will impact the course of a company's future. Many owners only recognize their need for legal guidance until after there is a problem, but that is not a prudent course of action.

One of the most important decisions a business owner will have to make is deciding on the type of business entity. The business structure will impact everything from taxes to the business owner's liability for business debts. An experienced professional can evaluate the goals and objective of the business owner, providing him or her with the guidance to make the choice that makes the most sense for the company's long-term interests

Tax planning during the business formation stage

There is a lot more involved with the process of starting an Oregon business than many entrepreneurs realize. While a good idea and a certain set of skills is a major part of launching a new company, there are both legal and financial considerations during the business formation process. Tax planning during these initial stages is especially important, particularly in terms of choosing the right business entity.

Taxes are an unfortunate but inevitable part of doing business. Knowing what to expect and planning for it from the beginning can help avoid surprise expenses in the future. Entrepreneurs will also want to consider how their personal and professional taxes, as well personal and professional liabilities, will be impacted by their choice of business structure. Starting a company is an investment, and smart choices in the beginning can help protect that investment.

Before you shift your business into gear, check your blind spots

There are numerous analogies you could draw between starting a business and driving. In both instances, you need to choose which path to take, and sometimes you must raise your focus from your immediate circumstances to a point further down the road.

Just like when you get in the driver’s seat, you are in control of your business. Though, in both circumstances, you can neither dictate nor predict what will happen around you.

Oregon ski resort facing business litigation after 2 fatalities

An Oregon ski resort is facing a serious lawsuit after two guests died on the same day. The families of both of the deceased have moved forward together with legal action, suing for $30 million in a wrongful death claim. There is a lot on the line for this ski area, and it will be important to explore options through which to confront this business litigation. 

In their lawsuit, the families of one skier and one snowboarder claim that the Mt. Bachelor ski area did not properly warn guests of tree well hazards after three weeks of steady snowfall. These are voids that can form below trees in times of heavy snow, and people can fall into them. These accidents can be fatal as the snow will come down on a skier who is trying to get out of the void.

Restaurant facing business litigation over harassment allegations

When an Oregon business faces allegations of wrongdoing or a formal lawsuit, this represents the threat of significant financial loss and complications that may affect future operations. Business litigation is serious, especially when it involves allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. A Medford-area restaurant is dealing with a lawsuit filed by a federal agency over the way the owners allegedly treated employees.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the civil claim against a local restaurant. Included in the claim are allegations that the owners engaged in inappropriate contact and offensive sexual remarks with female employees, and at least one of these employees was a minor. Specifically mentioned was continued staring, touching, video recording and more. One complaint stated that the manager put his hand under shirt of one employee shirt and asked for nude pictures.

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.

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