You finally have everything necessary to get your small business up and running in Oregon. Or do you?

Before you open the doors to customers or start hiring employees, let Forbes educate you on the contracts your business needs. Proper preparation helps you maximize your satisfaction and business potential.

Service contracts

Maybe you offer a service rather than a product. If so, you need a service contract that spells out your conditions, terms, liabilities and responsibilities. Such contracts better protect you from legal actions and keep you and your customers or business partners on the same page.

Employee contracts

While putting out ads for employees, take out time to draw up a solid employee contract. On it, specify the job title, job duties, compensation, if the employee needs to sign a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement and if the position is “at will.”

Confidentiality agreements

Your employees may have access to confidential, financial or otherwise sensitive information. If so, be sure you have them sign a Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement. Maybe you expect employees to come up with ideas, business strategies or product ideas. A confidentiality agreement makes it plain that all employee contributions belong to the company rather than the individual.

Letters of intent

Are you and a potential business partner just brainstorming over lunch, or are you in the planning stages of a legitimate deal? Having all parties sign a letter of intent leaves no room for doubt that everyone wants to proceed with a legal agreement. Note whether the agreement is binding or nonbinding.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.