Starting a New Business in Oregon – Choice of Entity

When starting a new business in Oregon, it is important that you make an educated decision regarding choice of business entity. Basic options include the following:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • S Corporation
  • C Corporation

For many small businesses that are just starting out, a sole proprietorship or partnership may be the best option, particularly if the business is unlikely to be sued. Going this route may limit start up and administrative costs. As the business becomes more profitable, however, it often makes sense to convert to a LLC or S Corp, to take advantage of potential tax savings and partial protection from personal liability.

Many small business owners are uncertain whether to go the LLC or S Corp route. In general, a LLC offers greater flexibility and lower start up costs compared to a S Corp. On the other hand, a S Corp may offer greater tax savings and other benefits for some businesses.

When consulting with a business attorney, a business owner should make sure to ask for a clear estimate of costs and services being provided. My law firm has a growing Hillsboro business law practice that focuses on delivering cost-effective business law services to small business owners.

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Burton McCaffery Oregon Lawyers PC

I am pleased to announce that my law firm’s new Beaverton-focused website is online at www.bmolawyers.com. For 2011, we have decided to reposition our Beaverton office using our actual corporate name of Burton McCaffery Oregon Lawyers PC, while continuing to do business in Hillsboro as Hillsboro Law Group PC, a registered assumed business name. We have already taken steps in 2011 to build up our Beaverton operations, including joining the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, and setting up the new website.

Our Beaverton office’s contact information is as follows:

Burton McCaffery Oregon Lawyers PC
12725 SW Millikan Way Ste. 300
Beaverton, OR 97005
tel 503-906-7840

Federal Estate Tax

Under the tax compromise agreement recently negotiated by President Obama and congressional Republicans, the federal estate tax exemption amount for 2011 will likely be $5,000,000, with any excess amount being taxed at 35%. This represents a massive increase on the $1 million exemption amount that was scheduled to kick in in 2011, and, in my opinion, is too high given the massive budget deficits the federal government is currently running. Increasing the exemption amount will have little, if any, stimulative effect on the economy. I am also concerned that, by allowing a married couple to potentially transfer up to $10 million tax-free to their children ($5 million per spouse), the government is encouraging increased disparity between wealthy elites (the top 1%) and the vast majority of Americans. Meanwhile, the cost of our government’s unrestrained borrowing from foreign lenders will have a long-term negative impact on our country. There continues to be an irrational disconnect between the professed concerns of both politicians and voters about excessive government debt, and the failure of the government to take any meaningful action to address the problem.

New Google Place Search Impacts Law Firm Search Results

I was surprised and then delighted to see Google’s new “Google Place Search” this afternoon, which gives greater prominence to local search results when a search phrase includes local content. For a more complete description of these changes, check out Google Place Search is No Yelp Killer. The change is apparently intended to make Google more competitive with Yelp and other local search services. My law firm’s placement in search results appears to have increased across the board as a result of the change. It will now much more important for law firms to get client reviews on Google and CitySearch, as these reviews are very prominently accessible in search results. In general, the change may allow SEO-savvy law firms to achieve greater dominance over competitors in Google.

Attorney-designed websites

I am pleased to announce that the second generation Hillsboro Law Group PC website is now online and fully operational. I created the website myself using Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, having first begun learning HTML in 2007 when renovating the Garland Burton McCaffery PC website. Our associate attorney Meghan Bishop again contributed a number of excellent unique photographs to the site. By using proprietary photos of our offices, the local courthouse, etc., we are hoping to avoid the generic feel of many professionally-designed law firm websites.

I am not aware of any other attorney-designed law firm websites in existence, but I am sure there are many others out there. I would like to create a web page gallery of websites designed by practicing attorneys, so please let me know if you have any links.

Internet Links

Ranking well in internet search results is increasingly crucial to operating a successful business. Any business owner that is attempting to market a business online should understand the concept of Google PageRank. While many books have been written on the subject, the basic idea is that a website builds PageRank by having other sites link to that site. Thus, what follows is a shameless attempt to pass PageRank to various pages dedicated to yours truly: