Columbus Startup Lawyers
Why Should My Company Hire a Startup Lawyer?
When you're starting a new company, all the details involved from beginning to end may overwhelm you. At the same time, you're probably concerned about expenses. Many new businesses forego hiring an attorney during the early stages of starting the company because they worry that they cost too much. Instead, you should realize that having an attorney on retainer during these initial phases of getting your company off the ground could help you avoid pitfalls and save both money and time due to costly mistakes.
Before long, your new company will expand and grow. A top startup attorney who works with you from the beginning will help you work through challenges that arise.
Governmental regulations – You don't want to accidentally run afoul of the government because you weren't aware of a change in rules or regulations. Not only do you have to consider federal laws, but state and local laws will apply to different aspects of your business as well. A startup attorney will help you understand these legal questions as your company evolves.
Forming a business entity – Your startup attorney will be your resource when you decide how to structure your company. You have many options to consider, and a lawyer can help you decide which one makes the most sense in your particular circumstance. For example, your company might best be incorporated as a limited liability corporation (LLC). In other cases, an S-corporation could be the proper choice.
Hiring employees – When you start to bring in new people to work for your business, you'll want to keep several considerations in mind. During the interview process, some questions can get you in legal trouble or bring about a lawsuit. Once you hire an employee, you might have them sign a contract, and you'll almost certainly need an employee handbook and code of conduct. Your startup attorney will have familiarity with these issues and can help you through the process.
Patent law and intellectual property – Lawyers specialize in patent law and intellectual property rights because the complexities of legal language can be challenging. As you develop new technology, you need to know that a competitor cannot come in and legally steal your knowledge and ideas. Your lawyer will make sure to file patent applications on your behalf and advise you in situations where you could infringe on another piece of intellectual property.
How Do I Find the Best Startup Attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
Start by asking your business contacts to give you a couple of referrals for a top startup attorney. Word-of-mouth is powerful, and if an associate you admire has a trusted lawyer, this is a good starting point. Set up a meeting to see if the attorney is a good fit for your business. Then, notice whether they match up with your communication style. If you prefer to work by phone, do they email you instead? The best startup attorneys will understand how their clients prefer to exchange information.
As you talk with potential attorney hires, you should ask them about their experience with companies like yours. Does the startup attorney have experience with technology that is relevant to your business? You'll want a top lawyer who has worked with clients in your industry. They'll bring invaluable knowledge to your company as you get the business off the ground.
When deciding which startup attorney to hire in Columbus, Ohio, make sure that you have an understanding of the fees the lawyer will charge you. Some attorneys may surprise you with hidden costs. You'll want to have a candid discussion and ask questions to clarify what you'll be paying. Columbus is a mid-sized city, so you can probably expect to spend $350-$800 per hour, though firms who assign junior attorneys to do the work may be less expensive.
The primary reason you need an attorney is to help your company in cases of conflict resolution, so finding a lawyer who communicates details efficiently and accessibly must be a priority. Sometimes, you may disagree with your attorney on the proper approach to a conflict. If they tell you to go to trial when you feel that settling a case makes the most sense, that may be a red flag. You must ask questions during the hiring process to see how the lawyer has dealt with similar situations for past clients.
Which Questions Do I Ask a Startup Lawyer?
- Do you have a solid understanding of my industry?
- Have you worked with startups that are in their early stages of development?
- Which of your lawyers will be working with my company?
- How is your fee structure set up?
- How long have you been practicing this type of law?
- What is your area of focus?
- What is your experience?
- What is your experience with technology?
- Are you a full-service law firm?
- Have you passed the bar in the state of Ohio?
- Has any client registered a complaint against you or your firm?
- What's your current workload?
- Have you ever handled a trademark or patent?
- Can you offer any references?
- Have you ever handled incorporation in the state of Ohio?
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Columbus Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Columbus 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 Columbus 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 Columbus, OH.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Columbus 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 Columbus startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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- 5 min read
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.
- 4 min read
What Are Tag Along Rights?
Tag along rights or "co-sale rights" are legal agreements that guarantee minority stakeholders the right to sell their shares in the company at the same time and under the same conditions as the majority stakeholder. These rights are often used when companies are founded and capitalized because it protects investors and encourages them to buy the company's stock at an early stage. This is especially true for most angel investors, who won't even think of joining unless there are tag along rights.
Why Are Tag Along Rights Important?
Tag along rights protect minority stakeholders by giving them a certain amount of control over their own investments. If a principal stakeholder of the company liquidates its share, smaller investors won't get a bad deal. In simple words: If Investor A is selling their interest in the company, Investor B gets to sell their interest on the same terms and conditions.
- 6 min read
Many entrepreneurs have "angels" watching over them, quite literally. These financial and advisory angels (or angel investors) are often responsible for the success or failure of a startup. There are no set rules to what angels can do for an entrepreneur and what they can expect in return. That's why angels are sought after with such intensity and why you must be especially vigilant in reviewing their offers.
What Are Angel Investors?
Angel investors are typically wealthy individuals or fellow entrepreneurs — rarely professional venture capitalists — who are willing to do whatever it takes to get a startup off the ground, which usually means money. In general, angel investing involves funding, advice and various kinds of management support. Normally, angels invest
- 6 min read
What Is Preferred Return?
A preferred return—simply called pref—describes the claim on profits given to preferred investors in a project. The preferred investors will be the first to receive returns up to a certain percentage, generally 8 to 10 percent. Once you reach this profit percentage, the excess profits are split among the rest of the investors as agreed upon in negotiations. This type of return is most commonly used in real estate investment.
How Is the Preferred Return Calculated?
There are three main questions when it comes to calculating preferred return:
- Is it compounded or non-compounded? Compounded means that the calculation of a preferred return periodic growth amount comes from the amount of invested capital plus all previously earned but unpaid amounts.
- Is it cumulative or non-cumulative? Cumulative means that all the m
- 5 min read
Anti-Dilution provision is a clause that gives an investor the right to maintain the same percentage ownership of a company by purchasing a proportional amount of shares in the future when securities are issued.
Dilution: What Is It?
To understand what “anti-dilution” is, you must first understand the meaning of dilution.
The term, “dilution” refers to an event in which the shareholders’ ownership of a company is reduced due to the issuance of new shares in that particular company. The ownership percentage is decreased as the whole capital is increased, the concept is simple as that.
Dilution occurs when you issue new stock in a company. Consider an investor who owns 30 out of a company's 100 shares; technically, he owns 30 percent of the company.
Imagine the corporation now issues 100 new shares to raise capital.