Entrepreneurial Services
Our entrepreneurial services team helps startups and high growth businesses lay a financial and structural foundation for success. Drawing upon our firm’s long history of providing strategic counsel and transaction services to businesses at all stages of development, we are experienced in the issues and challenges that entrepreneurs and investors face in today’s dynamic startup environment. We partner with founders and investors to help them efficiently and effectively implement their business plans, deploy their capital, and take timely advantage of opportunities.

Our startup lawyers also advise seed, angel, venture and other investment firms in all aspects of formation, compliance, and investing. We pride ourselves on distilling complex information and processes into clear client communication.

Advocacy & Connections

We’ve been working with business entrepreneurs since the firm was founded over 40 years ago. More recently, Tonkon Torp attorneys have worked closely with groups like TiE Oregon, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, the Oregon Angel Funds and Oregon Venture Fund, the Elevate Capital Fund, the Elevate Inclusive Fund, the Willamette Angels Fund, and the Portland Seed Fund. We leverage these relationships to help connect emerging companies with potential funding sources, board members, management-level employees, and other resources, without compromising our paramount role as advocates for our clients.

Cost-Effective Integrated Services

Tonkon Torp recognizes that startups are often cash constrained and resources need to be managed responsibly. Our services are tailored to meet each client’s specific needs, helping new companies get off the ground quickly. We offer a suite of proprietary startup company documents that provide owners with well-crafted legal agreements at a predictable cost.

Our entrepreneurial services include:
  • Entity formation, structuring and governance
  • Benefit Company registration for clients seeking to pursue triple bottom line goals
  • Equity structuring
  • Negotiating with investors, including seed, angel, venture capital and private equity investors
  • Intellectual property protection, including licensing, distribution and sales agreements, and trademark and trade secret protection
  • Tax and executive compensation
  • Employee and consultant contracts, including non-compete and confidentiality agreements
  • Government relations and regulatory compliance

Our firm is well-suited to meet the needs of emerging companies as they mature and evolve. We take pride in offering our clients continual legal services, including advice in mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, real estate and other specialties.

Investor Representation

We have experience representing investors of various sizes, sectors, geographic locations, investment amounts, experience levels and targets. We work closely and collaboratively with diverse investment teams to efficiently structure financing transactions. We also have experience forming and supporting the management of investment entities. Because of our experience working with investors, we can often provide thoughtful, creative advice that helps clients achieve their investment goals.

Corporate Conversion and Financing for Circuitry Company

Advised client with the negotiation of a term sheet and the documentation of the conversion from an Oregon corporation into a Delaware corporation, as well as the offer, issuance and sale of Series A Preferred Stock to a venture capital fund.

Financing for Drone Software and Infrastructure Startup Company

Assisted SkyWard IO, a Portland-area startup company developing infrastructure for the emerging commercial drone industry, in its $1.5 million seed round financing led by Voyager Capital, Draper Associates, and Toivo Annus (former head of engineering at Skype).

Founding Shareholder Representation

Represented founding shareholders regarding the sale of computer software to a national company.

Game Development

General representation of a game developer.

License Agreement Negotiation

Negotiated a license agreement on behalf of a client who holds patents.

Solar Energy Facility

Assisted in the development and sale of two separate solar energy facilities.

Venture Capital Investment Negotiation

Negotiated a venture capital investment for a game development company.

Hemp and the Pitfalls of the USDA’s Interim Final Rule

Despite regulatory uncertainty and increased competition, we continue to see explosive growth in the amount of hemp production in the United States, with the amount of total acreage increasing by approximately 550% since the passage of the 2018 Farm…
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What You Need to Know About Buying and Selling Products Containing Cannabidiol (CBD)

It seems as though products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are everywhere – in supermarkets, health food stores, gyms, even the corner convenience store. And CBD can come in almost every product, regardless of the shape or size: oil, toothpicks, dog…
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Build Your Biz and Eat it Too: PDX Business Series Webinar

Tonkon Torp attorney David Forman will moderate a fascinating discussion with three Portland-based food entrepreneurs as they have journeyed from first recipes, to first farmers markets, to first class airplane fare.
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Investor Perspectives on Raising Capital in Uncertain Times

Raising capital can be a tough process to navigate for emerging companies even in the best of times; with the ongoing pandemic, many ventures are left with more questions than answers. Join us on May 5 at 12:00 PM for a first-hand investor report…
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Tonkon Talks - Employment Law Pitfalls for Startups

It's in the nature of startups to have an ever-changing workforce. Between independent contractors, growing employee rosters, turnover, and founders who aren't necessarily well-versed in HR matters, the potential employment law pitfalls are myriad…
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Tonkon Talks - Accelerators & Incubators: How They Can Help 

After our annual summer break, Tonkon Talks is back, with a special guest speaker and a brand new format! Our September 4 talk will be a happy hour event at the Tonkon Torp main office in the Pioneer Tower.
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Tyler Harkness Accepted into Leadership Portland

Tonkon Torp attorney Tyler Harkness was accepted into the 2021 class of Leadership Portland, an annual program offered by the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) to cultivate and develop community leaders. Selection for the program is based on written…
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Tonkon Torp Attorneys Speak to Startups at December TiE XL Boot Camp

On December 9, Tonkon Torp attorneys Tyler Harkness, Parna Mehrbani, and Clay Creps were instructors for the virtual TIE XL Boot Camp. The boot camp provides opportunities for a cohort of entrepreneurs to connect with experts in the startup community…
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Tonkon Torp Attorneys Speak to Startups at Virtual TiE XL Bootcamp Session

Tonkon Torp attorneys Tyler Harkness, Parna Mehrbani, and Kristin Bremer Moore were instructors at the June virtual sessions of the TIE XL Bootcamp. The Bootcamp provides opportunities for a cohort of entrepreneurs to connect with experts in the…
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Oh Baby! Briar Baby Puts Baby Bonnets on Hold to Produce High-Quality Face Masks

Briar Baby had no need to take baby steps when it came to their COVID-19 response. The Vancouver-based company is one of Tonkon Torp’s entrepreneurial clients, and is best known for its modern approach to handmade baby bonnets. The team took…
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David Forman Lays out a COVID-19 Playbook for PBJ Thought Leadership Podcast

Tonkon Torp partner David Forman was the featured guest for the May 7 episode of the Portland Business Journal’s Thought Leadership Podcast. The episode lays out a CEO playbook for navigating a thoughtful COVID-19 response.
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Tonkon Torp Webinar Shares How COVID-19 has Changed the Investor Landscape

On May 5, Tonkon Torp hosted a webinar focused on how investors are responding to the pandemic, and how emerging companies can find capital in this unpredictable environment. The webinar was moderated by Brenda Meltebeke, Chair of Tonkon Torp's…
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Tyler Harkness Is Keynote Speaker at LAUNCH Mid-Valley Startup Bootcamp

Tonkon Torp attorney Tyler Harkness was a keynote speaker at the inaugural LAUNCH Mid-Valley Startup Bootcamp held on March 1 in McMinnville. Tyler’s session focused on business law for startups.
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Tonkon Talk Guides Startups Around Employment Law Pitfalls

The October Tonkon Talk provided startups with a roadmap for working with independent contractors. Kristin Bremer Moore, Chair of Tonkon Torp's Labor & Employment Practice Group, broke down the differences between employees and independent…
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Portland Seed Fund Founder Jim Huston Leads September Tonkon Talk

The Fall Tonkon Talk series kicked off on September 4 with guest speaker Jim Huston, Co-Managing Director of the Portland Seed Fund. Jim drew from over 20 years of experience in early stage investing and advising to provide an overview of…
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Startup Jill-of-All-Trades Robin Jones Leads June Tonkon Talk

Robin Jones, CEO of Monsoon, Inc., and a noted Portland-based startup Jill-of-All-Trades, was the featured guest at the June 5 Tonkon Talk.
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Brenda  Meltebeke
Practice Area Chair

Brenda Meltebeke

Partner