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Startup Operations – Identifying & Navigating Legal Risks

Many entrepreneurs have a good understanding of statutory limitations and regulatory constraints on the operations of the businesses they are starting.  That understanding often comes as a result of familiarity gained from years of experience operating in an industry.  Other entrepreneurs may be newer to an industry, […]

Maintain the Limited Liability Shield

Entrepreneurs should form a business entity as soon as they embark on a new startup venture.  A key feature of business entities (e.g., corporations or limited liability companies) is limited liability, meaning that the assets of the owner of the business available to satisfy claims against the […]

Term Sheets – Potential Traps for the Unwary

StartupPercolator
During its life cycle, a typical company enters into several key transactions. These can include debt and equity financings, an exclusive license of the company’s proprietary technology or an acquisition of the company by a strategic buyer. Before signing the “definitive agreement” for a key transaction, however, […]

Board Advice: Adding Advisors Versus Adding Directors

StartupPercolator
Our company clients often come to us at an early stage in their growth process with some variation of the following question: “We were introduced to an amazing resource who can help our team grow the business in a material way.  We’re considering putting the person on […]

Four Tips for Companies Considering Venture Debt Financing

StartupPercolator
Many of the benefits of raising a Series A round are obvious—improved team morale, validation from outside investors and, of course, cash.  Another benefit may be less obvious—raising a Series A round can open up new sources of capital, including venture debt.  “Venture debt” is a type […]

How to Save Time and Money When Working With Lawyers

StartupPercolator
New founders often approach service providers generally, and lawyers in particular, with a degree of caution.  They’re typically aware that they need advice, but they’re concerned that obtaining such advice will come at a cost, which most startups would prefer to avoid given the need to focus […]

Patents Are Important to Startups

StartupPercolator
Patents are important to startups because they provide a legally sanctioned monopoly that bars entry to competitors. In addition, patents may serve defensive purposes in that competitors may be less likely to sue a startup for patent infringement if there is a risk of a countersuit. Further, […]

Privacy and Advertising: Self-Regulation 101

StartupPercolator
A couple of months ago, we gave you five privacy tips relevant to startups and told you about the consequences startups face from regulators if they fail to protect their users’ privacy. Regulators like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Consumer Financial […]

Five Steps for Collecting Stockholder Consents by Email

StartupPercolator
Collecting stockholder consent by email can be more complicated than collecting director consent by email. If your company is incorporated in a state that permits stockholders to consent by electronic transmission, developing a process for collecting these consents is key to ensuring that the stockholder action is […]

Options – Structural Elements

StartupPercolator
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 […]

Top 5 Insurance Products for Startups

StartupPercolator
Q:  How should I invest in insurance for my startup? What types of insurance do I need? What can I expect from the claim process? A:  A full risk assessment of your company’s developing business requires an audit of your potential liabilities.  However, as a general rule […]

Protect Your Earnout

The most common exit for early-stage companies is acquisition by another company.  Because early-stage companies by definition do not have a long history of revenue and earnings performance, it can be difficult for the buyer and seller to agree on valuation.  The seller will argue for a […]

Top 5 Privacy Tips for Startups

StartupPercolator
Startups have bigger concerns than privacy, or so they think. Many startups have learned that being young and small does not keep them off the radar screens of privacy regulators, and they can be vulnerable to costly investigations.  Privacy issues that come to light in the course […]

Writing an Executive Summary

StartupPercolator
Key to any early stage fundraising effort is a well-crafted Executive Summary, or Exec Summary. This succinct document describes your new venture and preemptively addresses fundamental questions that prospective investors will have. I have read hundreds of executive summaries over the years. And, the few good ones […]