In our Emerging Companies & Venture Capital group, we often work with founders and early- stage companies that are in the process of raising their first round of financing. On occasion, this takes the form of a “friends and family” round, consisting of a group of supportive…
The right employees help your startup rise to the top. Identifying those employees early can save time and money. The infographic below created by FocusHR points out some of the innovative strategies companies like Zappos and Google employ to find dedicated employees and create a collaborative work environment.
As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to allow the tasks of building a startup to overwhelm you. Do you have work/life balance? Loving what you do and working hard to build your business is critical, but so is taking time to decompress. Here are a few tips to help you find that sweet spot.
Nearly every start-up begins in a garage, basement or home office. Some of today’s largest technology companies fall into that category, including Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon. But, at some point hopefully, the start-up outgrows its humble beginnings and needs to lease office, retail or storage space in order to meet consumer demands.
Lawyers will tell you it’s important to incorporate your company as soon as you possibly can to avoid personal liability and to settle all outstanding matters among the founders. That’s good advice, but the place to start is with a Term Sheet for the incorporation.
Whether a financing, merger or other acquisition, or other major transaction, parties often outline the major provisions in a non-binding term sheet or letter of intent. A principal benefit of this approach it to help the parties identify major areas of disagreement early to avoid wasted expense on additional diligence and drafting of the definitive agreements.
Human behavior and motivation has a critical role in the design of websites. Does the website for your startup cater to your audience and create a pleasant user experience?
Negotiating a lease for your company’s office or facility can be precarious. Real estate is not your core business, and you do not want to spend tremendous time (or expense) finalizing the lease document. In addition, start-ups and emerging companies without strong financials do not enjoy significant leverage in strong real estate markets.
If there is a ground zero of potential liability, this is it. Cash-strapped federal regulators and states are focusing on misclassification cases with renewed zeal and enthusiasm. And companies, even with the best of intentions, often mischaracterize employees as independent contractors (consultants or advisers). Independent contractors are not subject to wage and hour laws, meaning they don’t need to be paid minimum wage or overtime, are not subject to payroll taxes, and are not entitled to meal and rest periods. Some companies use the “try and buy” approach of hiring a “contractor” for a few months before “converting” him or her to a full-time employee. But companies and contractors are not free to decide what type of relationship they are creating. Federal and state laws alone dictate what constitutes an employee versus an independent contractor relationship.
As a founder of a new company, you’re probably overworked, underpaid, and swamped with problems that everyone is looking to you to fix. You probably also have some valuable people working with you and you want to keep them happy and healthy. For small employers, the Affordable Care Act created a tax credit that could make it easier for you to afford to offer health coverage to your employees. Of course, there are limits and conditions (this is an IRS program, after all).