One of the most important decisions to make as an entrepreneur is how to choose the right startup attorney. Regardless of what stage your startup is in there are certain critical items that all Founders should focus on early in the process. Perhaps you are in idea phase or launching your MVP (minimum viable product) or perhaps you are further along and seeking seed stage capital to grow your business. At some point, and typically sooner rather than later, you will need to hire an attorney to ensure your company is properly formed, your brand is properly protected, and your corporate documents and processes are both legal and professional.
When you are a startup, choosing your attorney is even more important and should be done with careful consideration. Below are 5 key factors you should consider when choosing a startup attorney.
- Your startup attorney should be a partner in your success
- Your startup attorney should provide legal, business, and strategic advice and guidance helping you think through critical decisions that occur early on that have significant impact in later stages
- Your startup attorney should help you de-risk your startup
- Your startup attorney should be able to operate at the pace of a startup with his/her accessibility and responsiveness
- Your startup attorney should be able to make introductions to key players in the startup and investor ecosystem
What are the most significant legal items to address in your startup? There are many. The most relevant legal requirements are determined by your industry, your stage, your geography, your customer base, and more. Below are several areas of legal needs that should be front of mind:
- Provisional Patents or Patents
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Advisory Board Agreements
- Consulting Agreements
- Employment Agreements
- Licensing Agreements
- Equity Incentive Plan
- Seed Stage Financing
At each critical milestone in starting and growing a business there are legal decisions to be understood and made with real-word impact. Choose your startup attorney(s) wisely and let them guide you to success.