Tech Start-Up Counseling

Whether it is obtaining a patent, forming an entity, hiring employees or contractors, raising money, or negotiating a real estate lease, we can help.

Overview

There is a lot to do in launching and growing your business; and not much time or money to do it. Being able to identify potential issues is just half the battle. The second half is deciding what needs to be done now, and what can wait. We can help identify and prioritize legal tasks in your journey.

IP Protection

Identifying core intellectual property assets and protecting them is crucial to most tech start-ups. Software code can be protected by copyright or, in some cases, by patent. Trade secrets need to be property protected.  Licenses, employee manuals, independent contractor agreements, and joint venture documents must be carefully drafted to reflect proper ownership and usage rights. We can help evaluate your needs, and develop an appropriate strategy for your IP.

Business Entity Selection and Formation

Choosing the right entity, such as an LLC or a C-Corp, plays an important part in how you manage the business and fund growth. We can advise you on your options, create the necessary documents, and file with state and federal authorities.

Funding

Monetizing your technology and building your business requires money. Whether you are funding the business out of your own pocket, borrowing from a bank, or raising capital from outside investors, we can help you find the right experience to implement your strategy.

Employee Policies and Contracts

It is important to have policies and agreements in place that protect both the employer and employee’s rights, without creating unnecessary contractual obligations as an employer. You will also need policies and procedures concerning vacation time, sick leave, discrimination and harassment complaints, work hours and overtime, social media use, and potentially others.

You may also need to evaluate whether the individuals you hire are classified as employees or independent contractors under the law.

Independent Contractor Agreements

You may need to hire a product developer or software developer to bring your technology to market. It is important to have the proper independent contractor agreement in place to secure the rights in the technology that is developed. In addition, the agreement will help you set the terms of your engagement and confirm that the relationship is not employer-employee, which is important for tax and other liability reasons. We can help you negotiate and prepare the appropriate independent contractor agreement when hiring a developer to assist you in bringing your product to life.

Vendor Contracts

All businesses need to hire vendors.  Whether you are purchasing hardware, software, marketing support, or access to the cloud, it is important to avoid unpleasant surprises in your vendor relationships.  Having an attorney review your vendor contracts will go a long way to protecting your rights and avoiding time-consuming and costly disputes.

Customer Contracts

It is important that your contracts with customers clearly specify each party’s rights and obligations, while protecting your right to operate your business.  We can help you develop templates to establish long-term and mutually beneficial customer relationships upon industry-standard and reasonable terms.

Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are formed when two businesses want to collaborate to develop a new product, cross-sell existing products, or otherwise form a collaborative or joint business venture to exploit synergies. When dealing with innovative technology, intellectual property and other rights are core component of the joint venture. We can help you negotiate and prepare the appropriate joint venture agreement and advise on the appropriate structure for your new business relationship.