Business Law Lawyer Advice - Portland Oregon Business Attorney
At Harris Law firm, located in Portland Oregon, we handle all small and modest sized businesses. From sole proprietorships to corporations with scores of employees. We enjoy long lasting trusting relationships and feel each business we represent is not only a client, but a partner in mutual success.
When starting a business in Oregon one of the first, and perhaps the most important issue for many businesses, is deciding which form of business entity to use, e.g., corporation, LLC, etc. We work closely with clients and their financial advisors to determine what long-term business goals are sought, and which type of entity will best enable the client to achieve those goals. We handle all aspects of forming the business entity, qualifying it to do business in other states where necessary, and providing ongoing legal support of company operations and maintenance of the entity after formation. Oregon law provides numerous options for starting a business and the lawyers at Harris Law Firm can help you make the right decisions for your new or established business.
Legal Advice and Guidance from Start to Finish
- Business Entity Selection: Today, there is a broad selection of entities available, including corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, joint ventures, and sole proprietorships. After listening to the clients goals, needs and any special issues, we assist clients by identifying those advantages and potential pitfalls to ensure greater success through proper selection. Lawyer Robert Harris and attorney Lawrence Vergun, at Harris Law Firm, provide clients in Portland Oregon with many years of experience in business law and can help you make the right decisons when starting a business.
- Entity Formation: Once the type of entity is selected, we draft all of the documents needed to complete the formation process. In addition we address ongoing issues such as potential restrictions on the transfer of business interests, the selection and maintenance of selections, etc., by drafting agreements such as Buy-Sell Agreement and Shareholder Agreements. It is important to insure that the necessary formalities are completed so as to enable the entity which is chosen to fulfill its desired purpose and to reduce future problems between owners. Getting everything clear from the onset is vital to the smooth operations of your business.
- Intellectual Property/Computer Law: Our lawyers are intellectual property strategists who understand that proprietary information is a often a critical business asset, if not the most valuable asset a company has. We advise clients on the best methods for providing control over ideas and information critical to their business under the law. We assist client from the early planning stages to licensing and sale in areas such as software development, trademarks, and trade secrets. While we don’t specialize in patent prosecution (obtaining patents), we have extensive experience in working closely with patent attorneys and their businesses to leverage patent value as part of a comprehensive business plan.
- Maintenance: Depending on the type of entity selected, periodic meetings and minutes of those meetings may either be required or advisable. We routinely send written reminders to clients (without charge) of the need to keep current on such "housekeeping" type matters because of the importance they can play in the event of litigation or an audit, and we assist in the preparation and review of such documents. Our goal is often to ensure that the desired tax treatment is evidenced in the records and contracts of our client's business entity.
- Contract Negotiation & Drafting: Businesses frequently need assistance in the negotiation, interpretation, and drafting of important contracts with customers, suppliers, etc. We regularly help clients in such matters.
- Tax Strategy: You have worked hard to attain the assets you have accumulated, whether it’s real estate, business, or other investments. As a smart business owner you want them to pass to your loved ones with as little tax as possible. Our business attorneys serve as trusted advisors in helping you achieve your goal, navigating the often complex federal and Oregon tax code to minimize the tax burden of your estate and ensuring you leave as much as possible to succeeding generations.
- Transition, Succession Planning or Termination For Business Owners: We are an integrated law practice, bringing together expertise in corporate and partnership law, estate and succession planning, and probate. We can develop options for you to map your company’s future into the next generation, or transfer to key employees allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your labor into retirement and ensuring your legacy lives on. If you are ready to terminate your business, then we can assist in assuring that all steps are taken to assure that you are legally protected and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Buying, Selling, Starting a Business in the Portland Oregon Area
A significant aspect of our practice involves working with clients to plan, structure, evaluate, negotiate, and document the purchase or sale of businesses. This work is done in close concert with the client and its advisors who make up the business team. We will listen to your goals and needs, and help you achieve those goals in the transaction. We will look for innovative ways to achieve that objective.
- Planning, Structuring & Evaluating: Buying or selling a business is usually a complex matter, and without proper attention to the manner in which the transaction is handled, unexpected or unwanted results may occur. We’ll work with you to prepare you and your business for such an event, provide advice and guidance enabling you to avoid problems and better achieve your goals. When we represent the seller, one of our goals is to maximize the after tax proceeds from the transaction. If we are representing the buyer, we will make every effort to structure a transaction to maximize the tax advantage for the buyer. Often, with innovative design work, the goals of both the buyer and seller can be met. Due diligence in transactions is often a key aspect of the preparation and evaluation process, and we routinely assist clients in their due diligence efforts.
- Negotiation: While you must make the business decisions, we provide assistance in the negotiation process of these transactions. Our experience enables us to spot both legal and tax issues and address problems that others with less experience may overlook. Having an attorney to assist with negotiations in a transaction is often very helpful, particularly because it is important for the buyer and seller to maintain a working relationship after the deal is done to better enable a smooth transition.
- Documentation: Properly documenting a purchase or sale transaction typically involves many documents which touch on a wide variety of legal and business issues. Once the transaction is structured we routinely prepare all documents needed to properly protect the interests of our clients. Such documents include Letters of Intent, Asset Sale Agreements, Stock Sale Agreements, Security Agreements, Pledge Agreements, Promissory Notes, etc. Our goal at this stage is to eliminate uncertainty and secure performance.