Practice Areas


Wendell L. Belknap
411 5th Street
Oregon City, OR 97045

Tel: 503-657-8946
Fax: 503-655-2775

Email Wendell


Business Law


Advising Businesses in Oregon

I help set up and advise small and modest-sized businesses. These include sole proprietorships, as well as corporations or companies with multiple employees. Often, forming these businesses is the culmination of a lot of time, effort, money, and planning, and represents a dream come true for the client. It is rewarding to be part of that dream coming true. I enjoy the long-lasting business relationships clients and I have established with one another, some of whom I have represented for over thirty (30) years.

The first, and probably the most important issue for many businesses, is deciding which form of business entity to use, e.g., corporation, LLC, or something else. For most clients the determination as to which business they should form centers on which business provides the greatest tax advantages. As such, I work closely with clients and their financial advisors (usually the company CPA, or one of the several CPAs I work with if the company does not have its own CPA) to determine which business entity will best meet the client’s needs. With the exception of the documents which are properly prepared by the accountant, I handle most aspects of forming the entity. After the business entity is formed, I provide ongoing legal support to the company and maintenance of the entity after formation.

Aspects of Providing Business Entity Advice

  • Entity Selection: In today’s world there are many different kinds of entities available. Due to recent, favorable tax treatment of these, most clients opt for either a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC).
  • Entity Formation: Once the client, attorney, and accountant confer, and based upon the advice given, the client will choose an entity type. Once the type of entity is selected, I draft all of the documents needed to complete the formation process. In addition, if the client wishes, I will address issues such as potential restrictions on the transfer of business interests by preparing documents such as Buy-Sell Agreements and Shareholder Agreements.
  • Annual Maintenance: With any business, it is advisable to conduct periodic meetings and to prepare minutes of those meetings. In the case of corporations, annual meetings are required. If the client requests, I prepare annual minutes and send them to the client to sign at the time they are due. Keeping current on "housekeeping" matters such as Minutes is important, as it can help protect the client in the event of litigation or an audit. Also, most of my clients find it to be helpful if they have an attorney they work with on a consistent basis, as they invariably will have sticky legal questions that will pop up from time-to-time, and they can benefit by having an attorney who is familiar with their business who is only a phone call away.
  • Contract Negotiation & Preparation: Often, as part of their day-to-day operations, business clients need assistance with negotiation, interpretation, and/or preparation of important contracts with customers, suppliers, etc. I regularly help clients with such matters.
  • Termination or Transition: In the event that a business is terminated, sold, or merged, I can and usually do assist with the planning, structuring, and proper documentation of such actions.

I graduated from law school in 1985 and immediately went to work for a mid-sized law firm in downtown Portland, Oregon. I have been involved in forming and representing businesses on a consistent basis ever since. Please feel free to call my office if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your business’s needs.