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Patents Are Important to Startups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]

A Business Plan For Your Life (And Your Death)

A great estate plan is like a business plan for yourself and those most important to you. Just as a business plan is a road map to long-term success, an estate plan is a road map to achieving peace of mind for your family and perhaps even your business partners. As we have heard many times before, there is no escaping death and taxes, so we might as well plan for both. And yet, when we work with founders, we often find that they are so consumed with running their businesses that their estate plans—their "personal" business plans—are in disarray or nonexistent. Below are a few pointers to help you begin to chart a course in estate planning.