Atlanta Startup Attorneys & Lawyers
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J. Cliff Lantz
Atlanta Startup Lawyers
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Atlanta Startup Attorneys
Just as startups chart their trajectory and create objectives, forming goals about when and how to find the best startup attorney should be part of the overall business plan. Atlanta startup attorneys understand the local business climate and offer guidance and counsel during the important first months and years as a startup is forming.
Choosing an attorney early in the life of a startup is important. A great attorney can identify both the possibilities and the potential problems that new companies deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Here are a few areas of concern that startups must address early in their formation:
- Employment contracts
- Data security
- Management agreements
- Governmental compliance
- Mergers and acquisitions
How Atlanta Companies Protect Their Intellectual Property
Intellectual property protection is essential in the world of emerging businesses. Without it, innovation is nearly impossible. In order for startups to grow and be able to document their successes, protection of IP with the help of Atlanta startup attorneys is of the utmost importance.
Federal Copyright Registration
Registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office allows a company to define their ownership of the material. This type of intellectual property identification allows the company to use copyrighted materials during asset valuations and in negotiations. A business-created copyright will last 120 years. Materials that may be copyrighted include any original material in a tangible format including but not limited to print, artwork, music, software, videos, books, photos, sculpture, and graphic designs.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trademark Recordation to Protect Against Counterfeit Imports
A startup lawyer can file for recordation of copyrighted work with the US Customs & Border Patrol agency. The United States Customs protects copyrights registered with the federal government by seizing unauthorized reproductions at the border.
Federal Trademark Registration
Trademarks protect a company’s brand and name from use by others. Having a startup lawyer’s help when registering a trademark with the USTPO is vital to the future of the company. A company that registers their brand and name has nationwide ownership of it.
Federal Logo Trademark
A federal logo trademark protects a company’s design elements inside their logo from use by others. A logo trademark must also be registered in order to be protected.
It isn’t enough to simply register a trademark with the USTPO. Companies that own registered trademarks are compelled to defend those trademarks against infringement. Failure to do so serves as a message that the company is no longer interested in owning the trademark and that others are free to use it. Trademark monitoring actively protects and defends the trademark, identifying potential infringement and providing recourse.
The Best Startup Attorneys in Atlanta Help New Companies with Tax Strategy and Legal Compliance
Startup founders have enough to worry about without having to wade through miles of tax compliance information. The startup economy creates special tax issues specific to their business type. Compliance is crucial, as is maximizing the profit and take-home pay of founders and employees with the help of Atlanta startup lawyers. Here are a few basic tax strategies that the best startup attorneys handle for their clients:
Home Office Lease
Startup founders who work from home can set up a valid home office lease agreement with the help of a lawyer. This simple process creates the opportunity for sizable tax savings for the individual by leasing a portion of their home to their LLC.
Business Equipment Lease Agreement
Businesses that use computers, machinery, and office equipment can receive a tax deduction for leasing their business equipment to the LLC. The founder will keep the items in their name and the equipment will be protected from law suits and creditors.
Vehicle Lease Agreement
Personal vehicles used for business purposes can also be leased to the LLC to receive a tax deduction. The founder keeps the vehicle in their name and it is protected in the event the that LLC is sued.
Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan
Recent changes to the health care landscape in the US makes navigating medical expenses difficult for self-employed people. It is possible to set up a medical expense reimbursement plan to cover the high costs of insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from pre-tax income if the founder is married. An Atlanta startup attorney will help set up this IRS-sanctioned plan.
Subchapter S LLC Election
Subchapter S LLC election offers startup founders considerable tax benefits. An LLC can elect to designate themselves a “S-corporation” when dealing with the IRS. The S-corporation then pays the founders and any other employees a salary. The remaining profits go to the founder. Members can write off business losses on their personal income taxes. Alternatively, a single member LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship, so the business owner will have to pay a higher self-employment tax rate on their earnings.
Atlanta Offers Ambitious Startups a Place to Call Home
Ranked 10th among top cities for venture capitalists, Atlanta brought home $836 million in venture capital funding in 2015. Startup hubs are popping up more frequently. Ponce City Market, The Gathering Spot, FlatironCity, Switchyards, Atlanta Tech Village, and Tech Square Labs are all new to the scene since 2013.
Nicknamed the Silicon Valley of the South, Atlanta has a lot to offer entrepreneurs looking for a new home. Silicon Valley has access to capital and a large number of serial entrepreneurs, but the cost of living is astronomical and competition is fierce there. Atlanta offers a more laid-back vibe.
It's a risk-averse startup ecosystem so the rate of success is higher. Startups are forced to focus on business plans and solid ideas. This environment cuts the weakest early in the business formation process.
Startups in other communities are moving to Atlanta because of the lower cost of living and the potential to gain funding from new sources. In 2015, there were $500 million worth of investments in Atlanta startups, which is the highest number the area has experienced in a decade.
Higher Education in Atlanta
With Georgia Tech, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State, The Art Institute of Atlanta, and ITT Technical Institute of Atlanta all located in the metro area, this small city is seeing a sharp increase in the number of startups that make big news.
The University of Georgia is where MiraBlue Bio LLC got their start. Recently awarded first place in the University Shark Attack competition, this company developed a biopolymer for capsules used to treat Crohn’s disease. Other local startups that competed include Modif-Media from Georgia Tech, RiVE from Emory, Sound Collide from Georgia State, and Connected Care from Kennesaw State.
Emerging businesses count on startup lawyers in Atlanta to help create a strategic plan that meets their specific legal needs. Receiving high quality service in the areas of employment contracts, data security, management agreements, governmental compliance, and issues surrounding mergers and acquisitions removes many complex barriers to growth for new businesses.
Atlanta Startup Week
This yearly event offers a great way for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain insight into Atlanta’s thriving startup scene. Held in the spring of each year, Atlanta Startup Week is led by business owners.
There are various competitions throughout the week, including Teachers & Techies Ed-Tech Startup Pitch Competition. Early stage entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an investor panel and receive feedback. The Corporate Shark Attack features three local businesses as the Sharks and three Pitch Tank Winners.
Atlanta’s Thriving Tech Community
There are over 270,000 tech jobs in Atlanta. With 20 Fortune 500 companies and 13,000 tech companies, there’s more than enough energy in this segment to fan the fires of innovation among tech startups.
Recent big tech exits that belong to Atlanta include Radiant Systems for $1.2 billion, Airwatch for $1.5 billion, and Premiere Global Services for $1 billion. Big investments include $62 million for YikYak, $40 million for Ionic Security, and $42 million for FactorTrust.
CocaCola, Rubbermaid, UPS, Delta, and Home Depot all have their corporate headquarters in Atlanta, which likely contributes to the fact that they have the world’s busiest airport.
The Atlanta Tech Village is the town’s biggest tech business incubator located in Buckhead, which is also home to the Spanx company’s global headquarters. Notable startups now housed in the Atlanta Tech Village include the email management company Bluepods, enterprise healthcare solutions company Code Runner, information security company Drawbridge Networks, peer-to-peer lending company Funding-U, and alternative asset management company Second Phase Capital, to name just a few.
In the north Atlanta metro area of Peachtree Corners, the city council voted to contribute $300,000 to develop a business incubator to support and attract emerging businesses to the area. The city is getting help from the Advanced Technology Development Center out of Georgia Tech, as they hope to create a hub of tech startups. The idea that everyone wins when entrepreneurs have the opportunity to turn their great ideas into reality fuels Peachtree Corners’ desire to attract this type of innovation and talent to their small city.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Atlanta Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Atlanta startup attorneys & lawyers that provide a range of startup law services for startups and entrepreneurs that are starting a business. Any of the top-rated Atlanta startup lawyers you connect with will be available to help with a variety of your startup law related legal needs on-demand or on an ongoing basis in the city of Atlanta, GA.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Atlanta startup lawyers on UpCounsel can help you with a variety of specialized and general startup law related legal matters. No matter what type of startup law needs you have, you can easily hire an experienced Atlanta startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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- 7 min read
Updated August 21, 2020:
What is a Restricted Stock Unit?
A Restricted Stock Unit (RSU) refers to a grant of a value equal to an amount of a company’s common stock. The RSU is typically granted to a new or valuable employee as an incentive for employment or to meet specified performance goals. In the case of a new employee, the RSU plan is commonly included as part of the employee’s initial compensation package. RSUs are very popular today with startups and technology companies seeking to hire and retain highly skilled and talented employees.
How Restricted Stock Units Work
With an RSU plan, the company offers the empl
- 5 min read
A nonprofit organization is an entity formed to meet a specific tax-exempt purpose aimed at benefiting the public, a specific group of individuals or the membership of the nonprofit. Nonprofit organizations are prohibited from generating revenue, but instead excess revenues are put back into the operation of the organization – they are not disseminated to owners or investors.
Many of the most familiar nonprofit organizations are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.
Mission and Tax-Exempt Status
Nonprofits are normally organized around social causes or to serve the public good in ways that government agencies cannot. The mission statements of nonprofits are often tied to specific goals in areas like public welfare, public safety, religion, science, education, art, environmental protection or aid for the less fortunate. A nonprofit may also be created to further non-charitable pursuits
- 3 min read
Corporations are the basic and traditional business entity in this and many other countries. Unless a corporation can qualify for what is called ‘pass through’ treatment by electing to be taxed under a part of the Internal Revenue Code called Subchapter S , a corporation is taxed similarly to the way an individual is taxed. Being subject to the default tax treatment is what makes a corporation a “C Corp;” being able to qualify for pass-through treatment, and actually making an election to do so, makes a corporation an “S Corp.” They are the same type of business entity, taxed dif
- 7 min read
Updated October 26, 2020:
Stock Purchase Agreement: What Is It?
A stock purchase agreement is an agreement that two parties sign when shares of a company are being bought or sold. These agreements are often used by small corporations who sell stock. Either the company or shareholders in the organization can sell stock to buyers. A stock purchase agreement is meant to protect you, whether you're the purchaser or the seller.
A stock purchase agreement is separate from an asset purchase agreement. Stock purchase agreements merely sell shares of the company to raise money or transfer ownership of shares. An asset purchase agreement finalizes the sale of the company's assets. The stock purchase agreement lists several things:
- Name of company
- Purchaser's name
- 5 min read
What is Tranche Investment?
Tranche investment lets venture capital and other investors split investments into parts. They can give money to businesses over time instead of all at once. Usually, a business getting a tranche investment will get prenegotiated payments as long as it achieves financial milestones decided by the investor. The word tranche comes from the French word for slice.
Structured Financing: What is it?
Structured financing is a broad term for the many ways businesses and banks can divide risky financial products, including loans. Businesses and banks often sell these new financial products to specialized third-party investors. These products often include insurance policies, mortgages, and other types of debt, including tranches. Tranching or tranche investment is a relatively