Advice from the Pros

A collection of free resources for entrepreneurs and advice for start-ups.

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How Startup Law Works

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Starting Out

  • Begin the process by meeting with at least two or three attorneys. The first meeting shouldn’t cost you money.
  • Before you’re ready to sign legal agreements, you need to know who’s involved, how much money you need, and who’s in charge.
  • Business plans will change along the way, but the research you’ll gain from writing one is invaluable.
  • Consult an experienced corporate attorney about what type of legal entity to set up.

Intellectual Property

  • If you created some important intellectual property (IP), talk to a corporate lawyer and IP specialist to decide if you should transfer or assign it to your company.
  • Don’t skip over asking employees to sign basic agreements when first starting out.
  • Consult with an intellectual property attorney about protecting your inventions.

Raising money and Selecting Partners

  • When raising money, you have to comply with securities laws. Don’t skip this step!
  • It’s almost always worth the cost to get a shareholder agreement between shareholders/founders, and it is important to enter into one at the outset.
  • Even if you get the right legal agreements, they may be worthless if the people you’re doing business with aren’t trustworthy.

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