Showing Ben Straughans posts


Options – Structural Elements

Stock options – the right to purchase stock in the Company at a fixed price (“exercise price”) for set period of time-generate many of the questions facing a startup lawyer.  This relates to the popularity of options as a way to compensate employees and contractors. Benefits: Properly structured options are…

Understand Your Exit Options Early: Despite What They Tell You

Founders are often reminded, “great companies are bought, not sold” – emphasizing the importance of focusing on the business rather than the exit plan. True enough, but founders can help themselves through an early understanding the levers for buyers in their industry. Knowing that can help entrepreneurs position their companies for a successful sale – and it may also cause them to focus their startup in a different way.

“Backdating” In M&A?

The date of an agreement is an important part of most business transactions and M & A is no exception. Many acquisition agreements begin with an “Agreement between” the parties “effective as of” a given date. Does it matter if this effective date is prior to the date the parties actually entered into the agreement? And if so, is this ‘backdating’ problematic or even potentially illegal?

Personal v. Business Expenses?

Many startup owners, in the early days as the sole owner, may feel tempted to run “sort of” personal expenses through their corporation on the theory that they have no other owners to harm.

Changing Roles: From Founding CEO to “Employee”

Perhaps few times for an emerging growth company present more risk than the transition of a founder/CEO to “employee” status. This often happens later in the startup life cycle, when a company has funding and/or sales traction. The difference between a smooth and rocky transition can represent the difference between success and failure of the company.

Write on Paper, Not “Parchment”

When writing your business plan, stay clear, concise and succinct. Follow these three simple guidelines to better make your point to your intended audience.
1. Cut pretense – and acronyms.
2. State your point in the first sentence.
3. Use easy to read formatting.