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Cincinnati Startup Lawyers
Why Should My Company Hire a Startup Attorney?
How well you grow as a company depends on how you approach the early days. You don't want to become a statistic, one of the many companies that fail during the first two years.
As one of the founders, you'll have little free time already. You don't want to waste it figuring out legal documents you barely understand. A startup attorney can offer a guiding hand. They'll also have experience with other businesses like your own. You can draw on this knowledge to improve your chances of success.
What Can a Startup Lawyer Do for a New Business?
An experienced startup lawyer offers a lot of value. They will:
Add Networking Opportunities: Whether your new business needs money or customers, lawyers have a network of former and current clients they know. They can connect you with established businesses that will help you secure your company's future.
Set Up Your Company: Whether you choose to incorporate or set up a business by yourself, a startup attorney can file the right paperwork. They'll advise you on the best way to register your services with the government, protecting your immediate and long-term interests.
Handle the Paperwork: During your early days, you'll sign contracts with customers. You'll hire new employees. You may even negotiate deals with business partners. All of these instances involve some paperwork.
Since you lack experience in this area, you run the risk of using the wrong documents or agreeing to something that you didn't intend. An attorney will handle the paperwork for you, saving you a lot of aggravation.
Offer Guidance on Hiring: The government has rules in place for proper hiring practices. The conditions vary depending on the size of your startup. You'll need legal advice to know who you can and cannot hire.
Once you have workers on the payroll, you also need to provide a list of rules for them. A lawyer can offer a checklist of guidelines. You can use them as the backbone of an employee handbook.
Protect Your Ideas: During its early days, your business might invent a new product or create a process. When you make something original, you should own it. Unless you know the details of copyright and trademark law, you run the risk of someone stealing your best ideas.
A startup attorney can offer advice on how to protect your intellectual properties (IPs). Just as importantly, they can also teach you how to avoid infringing on the IPs of others. A single encounter with a patent troll could bankrupt your company. That's why legal advice in this area is crucial.
Which Questions Should I Ask a Startup Lawyer?
You'll want to check for references just like you would when hiring anyone else. You also need to protect yourself against overbilling. Viewabill is an online service that tracks this statistic. The data suggests that lawyers overbill clients by 23 percent. To avoid the issue, clarify billing terms and services in advance.
You should also find out whether the lawyer will charge by the hour or by the project. Ask if they offer discounts or payment plans for startups. Since you'll have little excess cash on hand in the early days of the company, try to work out a payment schedule. It'll improve your chances for long-term success.
Other questions you should ask include:
- How much experience do you have as a lawyer?
- How much experience do you have with startups?
- How much experience do you have in advising on trademarks, copyrights, and infringement?
- Are you the point person at your firm or will I deal with other employees?
- If others will also work with the startup, how many of them are lawyers as opposed to people who haven't passed the bar exam?
- In case of emergency, will I talk to you or to them?
- How quick are you and the rest of your firm with responses?
- How many clients do you have and can you reasonably add more to your workload?
How to Find the Best Startup Lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio
You should create a checklist of traits for your attorney. You obviously need someone who has passed the bar exam offered by the Office of Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Ohio. An attorney who hasn't passed the bar cannot offer legal advice in the state. To make sure an attorney is legal, contact the Office of Bar Admissions to verify their claim.
You also want an attorney who has no outstanding complaints. Any unhappy customer can register their complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio. An attorney with multiple complaints isn't someone you should hire under any circumstance. Even a single complaint should worry you enough to explore other options. You must trust your attorney since their advice is critical to the success of your startup.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Cincinnati Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati, OH.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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What is a Right of First Refusal?
A right of first refusal, also called an ROFR, a first right of refusal, or a last look provision, gives a person or company the opportunity to start a business transaction before anyone else can. It could provide the first chance to buy stocks or real estate at the same price and terms as another offer. If the holder of the right of first refusal declines, the owner of the asset can sell it to whomever they want.
There's even an ROFR in many child custody agreements. It requires that one parent offer the other parent the chance to watch the kids before using a family member or outside child care.
A Right of First Offer: What is it?
A right of first offer or ROFO requires owners to tell the holder first when they plan to sell an asset. Then the holder of the ROFO has the right to make the first offer on the business, stocks, or property. The seller can accept or reject the offer, speak to other buyers,
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What is Your Principal Place of Business?
This question is not as simple as it sounds. For a sole proprietor or a one location company, the answer is straightforward – your principal place of business is your home, shop, office or wherever you primarily do business. But large companies and corporations often have several locations spread out across the country, or even around the world. In these situations, the company headquarters is usually the principal place of business. This is not necessarily the same state as the state of incorporation.
The supreme court finally ruled that the “nerve center” of the company is the principal place of business. The nerve center test refers to the single place where a corporation’s officers direct, control and coordinate the corporation’s activities. In practice, it is usually where the headquarters are, as long as the headquarters are the center of direction, control and coordination. It
- 5 min read
Royalty Financing: What Is It?
Royalty financing is a type of investment where the business gets money based on future revenue. It's similar to an advance on a paycheck. The investors get their money back through royalties that are a percentage of the company's revenue.
The repayment terms and the total amount repaid are negotiated at the start of the loan. The company's income and revenue determine how long it takes to repay the loan, which in turn affects the final repayment amount. However, a cap will be placed on the repayment amount during the initial negotiations.
Royalty financing is usually used for companies with large revenue streams. Less profitable companies wouldn't be able to repay the loan plus pay their business expenses.
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What Is Unfair Competition?
Unfair competition occurs when another company uses wrong or deceptive business practices to gain a competitive advantage. The major category of unfair competition relates to intentional confusion of customers as to where the product came from, while the secondary category relates to unfair trade practices. Some of the most common forms of unfair competition include:
- Bait-and-switch selling technique, such as substituting a lower-cost product from a different brand for a more expensive, higher-quality product.
- False advertising or making false claims about a product to promote it.
- Misappropriation or use of confidential information, such as stealing a competitor's special formulation or other trade secrets.
- Trade dress violation, or copying the physical appearance of a product and/or packaging in the attempt to fool a customer into buying it.
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When starting a new business, one of the first issues you will have to deal with concerns the choice of business structure. For many small businesses, the two options are S-corporations (S-Corp) and C-Corporations (C-Corp). Understanding the difference between S Corp and C Corp, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, can be confusing. Here’s a look at what you need to know before choosing between an S-Corp and C-Corp for your business.
If you happen to be trying to build a technology startup or large company, here are some reasons why incorporating in Delaware as a C-Corporation would be a good choice.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about choosing between an S-Corp or C-Corp, or regarding any other business issues, it’s always a good idea to consult with an expert, like an experienced business attorney.