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Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

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.

Business and commercial law decisions: Contracts with NDAs

Small business owners in Oregon are smart to take steps to protect their legal and financial interests as much as possible. One way to do this is by drafting strong contracts with employees. For some types of companies, it can be beneficial to include nondisclosure terms or have separate NDAs for workers. Business owners may want to speak with an attorney experienced in business and commercial law regarding these important matters.

The purpose of NDAs is to keep private company information where it belongs. Through these types of agreements, businesses can ensure that employees do not take proprietary with them when they leave the company. Despite what many business owners may assume, NDAs can be beneficial for all types of businesses for various types of situations.

Business formation when working with another person

Starting a new business is an extensive, sometimes stressful process. New Oregon business owners have to make many important choices that will affect the future operations of their company, and this can be difficult when working with a co-founder. While launching a company with another person can be beneficial in many ways, it is smart for a person to proceed carefully through the business formation process and work to avoid complications down the road. 

One of the benefits of working with a co-founder is having the help and support of a trusted individual who understands how the business should work. One of the downsides to working with someone else is that what was once a good, easy business relationship can change down the road. If things become awkward or difficult personally, it can quickly have a negative impact on the business itself. 

Business formation with the end in mind

When an Oregon entrepreneur starts a business, he or she is usually only focused on immediate or short-term success. It takes a lot of effort to start and maintain a business, and true success is even harder to accomplish. For this reason, most people going through this process are not thinking about how they will eventually leave or sell their company. However, it can be prudent to go through the business formation process with the end in mind.

At the end of a career or at a time when a business owner is ready to move on, he or she may want to sell the company. Buyers are savvy, and they will do extensive digging into the financial history of the company, even looking at details from the earliest stages. This is one of the many reasons why business owners should be careful to follow tax laws and strive to be honest in every aspect of their operations.

You already own one business. Are you ready to buy another one?

Many entrepreneurs found businesses based on their ideas and vision, but regardless of what you set out to establish, consumer demands and financial developments can influence changes you make down the road.

It is common to grow your business to the point where you want to expand into another market, or in some cases, you might consider acquiring another company to squeeze out competition. But regardless of what your reasons might be for purchasing another company, there are some things you should consider before buying a business.

The details in employment contracts are important

Oregon business owners can do certain things to protect the interests of their business. One of these things includes carefully outlining employee responsibilities and rights, as well as the role of the employer, in carefully drafted employment contracts. These agreements can not only make the employee-employer relationship better, they can help avoid future disputes. However, it's crucial to be intentional about the details of these agreements. 

Many employers find it necessary to include non-compete clauses in their contracts. When considering the details of these contracts, it's prudent to be as clear as possible about the terms of employment, such as how the employee will be compensated and how much access he or she will have to proprietary information. It's also smart to be very clear about the duration of the non-compete clause and how long a former employee will be restricted by it. 

Protecting small business interests with strong contracts

A small business owner would be wise to take every step necessary to protect the legal and financial interests of his or her Oregon company. One way to do this is with strong contracts that outline the role, rights and responsibilities of employees. A thoughtful and carefully drafted contract can go a long way in avoiding costly and stressful legal disputes. 

One way that employers can benefit from employment contracts is by including non-solicitation terms. This can prevent an employee leaving on negative terms from poaching good employees on his or her way out. It is also possible that these terms can keep an employee who is planning on leaving the company from taking or transferring client lists and other important information. 

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