Starting any business venture comes with its share of complexities that are not always easily understood (especially legal ones). From marketing and promoting the product to making a name in the industry, the initial focus is to hit the ground running as soon as possible. However, no new company can avoid recurring legal requirements. 

A new establishment can use startup legal services to help get through or make some of the most crucial business decisions (i.e., employment contracts, equal opportunity laws, terms and conditions, stock incentives, partnership agreements, and more). Startups also need to fulfil their legal responsibilities such as registrations, idea protection, trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other legal agreements. To help fix all these, new business ventures need to outsource or retain startup legal services.

The following are reasons why new business should opt for startup legal services:

  • To help make critical business decisions
  • Fulfil critical legal filings
  • To tackle necessary paperwork needed to secure venture capital, as well as founder equities, and IP filings
  • Connect with seasoned venture attorneys that will answer legal questions and help solve legal problems
  • To ensure that business operations are properly documented, legal, and recognized by existing regulations 

Of course, a newly existing  business or a startup company has to fix some legal issues to operate smoothly. Some of the most important startup legal services offered by venture attorneys include:

  1.   Arranging a Founders Agreement

A core part of a startup launch is establishing a founder’s agreement that is clear to the parties involved. This agreement states the responsibilities and roles of the founders. A seasoned venture attorney will offer the service to help outline vesting and equity ownership, and to assign appropriate IP ownership. Now, a founder’s agreement is vital to any startup because it secures the future credibility and cooperation of that company. Most times, newbie founder(s) ignore this agreement due to inexperience but failing to draft a legal agreement could lead to future struggles; as well as, potentially result in the termination of the business.

  1.   Registration and Trademark of Company Logo and Name

Trademark is important to many startups because it prevents another person or company from registering with your company’s name, logo, or symbol. It eliminates the risks of a situation where a company would infringe on the trademark of another entity for monetary gain. 

Registrations and trademarks are some of the most important startup legal services required because it helps to distinguish a company’s product, service, and brand identity from the others. It also helps business owners understand the legal language requirements to ensure successful completion of a trademark application (which can easily result in loss of money if not completed timely or accurately). 

Once the trademark is secured, other businesses cannot copy the identity. Besides, a trademark gives the company an upper hand in the event of trademark infringement issues with another company. A government registered business name also attracts future investors and sponsors.

  1. Filing Critical Startup Documents

Another important startup legal services is filing critical documents and keeping critical documents up to date. Seasoned venture and corporate attorneys can help you file and fix these documents. Here are some of the documents that a legal attorney can help a startup deal with:

Articles of Association

With the help of venture attorneys, startups can file with the Internal Revenue Service to establish a legal entity for their businesses.

Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Startups need NDA, which is a document that is given out to investors and clients for business purposes. It protects the privacy of the startup by securing the ideas and intellectual property of both founders and employees.

Employee Contracts And Offer Letters

Another legal service offered to startups is filing offer letters and contracts for employees. In the early stage of building a team for a startup, it is important to clearly state legal and clear terms of employment, IP ownership, report structure, expectations, share vesting, company structure, and wage structure.

Shareholders Agreement

A shareholders agreement is an important agreement that determines the liabilities and rights of shareholders. It also explains the ability of these shareholders to exercise their legal rights. A seasoned venture or corporate lawyer can help a startup fix this agreement in a smooth manner.

Website Terms Of Use Agreement

It has become a norm for startups to establish websites to help spread the word of their products or services. However, it is imperative that they have terms of use agreement. This can be drafted by a seasoned lawyer with  standard language and then add additional language specific to your business. Never assume standard language will protect you! 

A properly drafted contract should include disclaimers, private policy and customer information, liability limitations, copyright warnings, jurisdiction warnings, and others. 

Other documents that are critical to startups include stock agreements, tax documents, intellectual property agreement, business plans and many more. All in all, it is imperative that a business that sets its sights on growth should seek startup legal services. It is the first step towards setting the foundation of a business right from inception. It protects the business from legal troubles not just at startup, but over time. Moreover, it ensures that all the documents needed for investment, employment, funding, and operations are in place and done the right way. By the way, laws change all the time that affect small businesses; therefore, having access to startup legal services will ensure you have the correct information.

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