Top 5% of Startup Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois | UpCounsel

Chicago Startup Attorneys & Lawyers

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Patrick J.

Patrick Jones

52 reviews
Patrick Jones has 17 years of experience as a business attorney and has represented numerous corporate clients, including AirHelp, Slobbr and several Fortune 500 companies. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois and in Arizona. Patrick has extensive experience in debt and bankruptcy, as well as in legal research and writing. He founded his own law firm, PMJ PLLC, in 2015 and is of counsel at Freeman Law.
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Paul W.

Paul Wisniewski

15 reviews
Paul has practiced food, drug, and regulatory affairs since 1984. His experience includes resolving issues and developing strategies in compliance with federal and state law. His firm, The Law Offices of Paul J. Wisniewski, has represented a wide range of clients from startups to multinational companies located throughout the US, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia.
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Jonathan G.

Jonathan Grossman

12 reviews
Jonathan Grossman is a business attorney and an entrepreneur. He has eight years’ experience and have worked with some of the leading law firms in the United States. He has a degree in law, which he obtained from the University of Kansas School of Law. Jonathan is licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York. He operates his own law firm and have also worked as a patent counsel at Fresenius Kabi USA for three years before starting his own business.
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Adam U.

Adam Urbanczyk

7 reviews
Adam Urbanczyk is Principal Attorney at the law group Au, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. A successful litigator, he specializes in intellectual property, business law, and patent law, and has particular expertise in software, internet, and social media issues. Adam received his J.D. from the John Marshall Law School. He is admitted to the DC, Illinois, and Patent Bars, and is also Of Counsel at Progressive Law Group.
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Drew W.

Drew Whiting

5 reviews
Entrepreneurs face many unique challenges, and Drew Whiting understands that first hand because he is an entrepreneur himself. He loves sharing his legal knowledge and experience with up and coming businesses. He has experience working with mobile businesses, those who offer financial services, packaged good manufacturers, restaurants, bars, and taverns, and several technology-related enterprises.
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Sean G.

Sean Goodwin

5 reviews
Sean Goodwin may be located in the Midwest, but he serves clients across the United States. He focuses on entrepreneurial needs and his practice areas include everything from patents to copyrights to IP strategy. A particular area of strength and expertise for Sean is intellectual property. He is also a registered U.S. Patent Attorney.
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Peter S.

Peter Stasiewicz

4 reviews
Mr. Stasiewicz specializes in litigation, including breach of contract and warranty matters, fraud, and lender liability. He can also help with matters relating to business formation, employment, and intellectual property.
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Robert S.

Robert Shipley

3 reviews
Chicago’s vitality depends on successful businesses. These Chicago businesses can depend on Robert Shipley to provide the best results. Specializing in construction and general business law, he believes in solid contracts, sound insurance strategies, and problem-solving that helps businesses stay ahead of the trends and avoid the snags. Robert is listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
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Kristin C.

Kristin Cass

3 reviews
Kristin Cass has over 23 years of experience as a corporate attorney. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York, and have worked with some of the top legal firms in the United States. Kristin graduated from the University Of Chicago Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree. She primarily focuses on business formations and general business operations, but also has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts.
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Scott W.

Scott Weisman

2 reviews
Scott Weisman is a business attorney that focuses on transactional law and general business law. He primarily assists companies in the technology industry. Scott has 12 years of experience as a lawyer and is able to assist with intellectual property matters, commercial contracts and business formation matters as well. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois. Scott has been the principal of his own law office since 2012.
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Finding a Startup Attorney in Chicago

 

When new businesses search for the best startup attorney for their situation, the sheer number of results, referrals, and suggestions can seem overwhelming. Finding the right startup lawyer in Chicago to usher a brand-new company through their formative years is vital to the health and long-term success of the startup.

 


 

Why Successful Startups Need a Startup Lawyer in Chicago

 

Startups need lawyers to help them in three major areas as their business grows and changes:

 

Relationships with each other

Establishing the responsibilities of each founder at the very beginning of the company’s life is a common-sense move that startup lawyers understand completely. The roles and duties of founders who start a company together will likely change over time, and a startup attorney will help create guidelines that minimize confusion and conflict.

 

Relationships with the public

Controlling risk when dealing with employees, product users, suppliers, customers, and vendors is a vital part of maintaining the momentum a startup needs to succeed. A startup attorney understands the risks and rewards of each relationship and can advise the founders about how they should conduct themselves to manage the risks and maximize the potential rewards.

 

Relationships with the government

Startup founders rely on experienced team members to guide them through tax issues, filing patents, and staying on the right side of the law. A Chicago startup lawyer can help to make sure that the startup isn’t experiencing unnecessary tax liability, is properly protecting intellectual property, and is filing patents correctly.

 


 

Things to Consider When Evaluating a Chicago Startup Attorney

 

Risk tolerance

It’s important to make sure that the lawyer has a similar tolerance for risk as the founders of the company. Understanding the business, how and why it was formed, and respecting the goals of the owners is a number one priority when choosing a Chicago startup lawyer.

 

Location

In a world where a lot of business is conducted virtually, it may be tempting to launch into a worldwide search for the best startup attorney. It’s much easier to set clear operating guidelines, align objectives, and keep the attorney in the loop when important events occur if the lawyer is local. Choosing a startup attorney in Chicago helps startups in the area make the most of the legal counsel they need, no matter the situation. 

 

Budget

Startup budgets for legal help are as diverse as the startups themselves. Prices vary from one firm to the next. It’s often less expensive to hire an attorney on a per-job or as-needed basis. Finding one that works well with the founders cuts down on the total amount of time required to solve legal problems as they arise and handle the day-to-day legal needs of a startup.

Many lawyers bill in increments of .1 hours, or six minutes. Some bill in quarter hour increments. Startups pay $150 per hour for legal consultation on the low end. On the high end, $1,000 per hour is a common rate for large and powerful law firms if the services of a senior partner are required or requested.

Startups that want to incorporate their new business should expect to spend over $2,000 for quality legal assistance from the best startup attorneys. This cost is dependent not only on the rate the lawyer charges, but the intricacies of the business and the specific services the founders request.

Early in the development of the startup, establishing a business entity should be a high priority. Protecting intellectual property is another important matter best handled by a startup lawyer in Chicago.

 

Background and experience

While many simple forms are available online if the founders of the startup know exactly what they need, it isn’t possible to find free legal advice that caters to the specific situations of the startup itself online. Having access to an experienced and trusted advisor is crucial to the growth of the company.

The best startup attorneys have extensive knowledge about copyright creation, patent law, intellectual property rights and new business formation. Search for a lawyer that has similar clients to the startup in question and who can speak intelligently about the market, the product or service, and who have helped other local startups with their strategic growth plans.

 


 

Chicago Startup Lawyer Areas of Expertise

 

The unique challenges that entrepreneurs face require the expertise of the best startup attorneys in Chicago. Here are just a few of the things area lawyers who specialize in assisting new businesses handle for their clients:

  • IP strategy
  • Copyrights
  • Patent creation and filing
  • Patent infringement
  • Tax law
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Transactional business
  • Contract dispute resolution
  • Lender liability
  • Warranty breach
  • Insurance strategy
  • Arbitration
  • Commercial real estate transactions
  • New business formation
  • Strategic startup growth
  • Privacy based litigation
  • Employment contracts
  • Technology compliance challenges
  • Domain name disputes
  • Commercial litigation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Risk management
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Financial fraud
  • Commercial contracts
  • Trade secrets
  • Software licensing and software-as-a-service terms
  • DMCA compliance, privacy policies, and online terms of service
  • Loan and asset transactions
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Commercial contract drafting and negotiation

 


 

Chicago Business and Startup Scene

 

During the past four years, Chicago has created over 40,000 tech jobs. With a growing number of software as services and marketplace businesses, this up-and-coming Midwestern city is a hub of startup activity.

 

Fortune 500 Businesses

Known for its easygoing approachability, the Windy City is home to Boeing and United Airlines. The transportation sector is growing with startups like SpotHero taking root. The mobility sector is thriving as small new companies focus on growing into a position where they can be bought. Larger companies seek startups for purchase in Chicago because of their amazing rate of success.

 

Resources and Support for Chicago Startup Companies

Industry diversity is alive in Chicago, which creates an environment where it’s easy to get exposure as a small company. Built In Chicago is an online community dedicated to making sure startups have access to the resources they need to achieve their goals. Successful startup founders often launch secondary ventures as a result of their fast growth and Built In Chicago is often behind the scenes helping to make founders’ dreams come true.

The city itself is encouraging to entrepreneurs with programs like the Chicago College Start UP competition. Ten winners enjoy benefits like free office space and free mentorship programs to help them get off to a solid start. ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is a competition that encourages and attracts tech talent by inviting 125 computer science and tech students from all over the country to learn about Chicago’s startup ecosystem.

Aggressive venture firms like New World Ventures, OCA Ventures, i2a Fund, and MK Capital are initiating earlier stage deals, creating a robust ecosystem in which Chicago startups thrive.

Costal startups are relocating their businesses to this Midwestern city to take advantage of a lower cost of living and the vast resources offered to emerging businesses. Future Simple, StyleSeek, Vlinks Communications, Trunk Club, and Big Machines all call Chicago home.

 


 

Universities and Colleges in Chicago

 

Three of the best colleges for entrepreneurs in the United States are located in Chicago according to Princeton Review. Of the top 25 programs for entrepreneurship, DePaul Kellstadt is number 15, Northwestern Kellogg is number five, and University of Chicago Both is number three. Schools are judged on mentorship programs, successful startup launches, percentage of alumni, students, and faculty that have created companies of their own, support for business plan competitions, and financial aid programs.

According to Pitchbook, both UChicago and Northwestern have been recognized as top schools for creating venture-backed startups. Both of these schools were also recognized as top innovative universities for research and patents by Reuters.

US News recently recognized DePaul among the most innovative universities in a ranking that scored colleges for making “promising change” across their own school environments.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign turns out computer scientists and engineers at a staggering rate. With the sixth best program in the nation, this respected university is responsible for many of Chicago’s up and coming company founders.

 


 

Cost of Living

 

Ranked the 31st most expensive city in America by NerdWallet, it’s still much less expensive to live and work in the Windy City than in Silicon Valley or New York City. The median home price is under $250,000 and housing is readily available in most parts of the city.

Overall, the cost of living in Chicago is 1.9% below the national average. Unemployment sits at 6%. Job growth is at 1.9%.

 


 

How to Choose the Best Startup Attorney

 

In a world where answers are just a few clicks away, it may be tempting to strike out into the unknown world of startup management without on-call legal counsel. Hiring a lawyer to handle the tricky legal landscape of the emerging business is more than a simple way to obtain peace of mind.

Chicago startup attorneys understand the local startup scene, are intimately familiar with complicated legal issues, and can help prevent problems that could be devastating for a new business. This type of help doesn’t need to cripple a lean budget, but it is a worthy investment.

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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Chicago Startup Attorneys

On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Chicago 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 Chicago 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 Chicago, IL.

From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Chicago 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 Chicago startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.

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