Kansas City Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Lawyer?
With all the costs of developing your products and services, setting up a business plan, and possibly opening a brick-and-mortar location, hiring an attorney is the last thing on your mind. A good startup attorney, however, can save you endless amounts of funds and hassle in the long run. As a new business owner, you've got better things to think about than local business requirements, tax law, and potential lawsuits. Leave such matters to an experienced professional.
For instance, you'll first need to decide how to set up your business. Should you go for a Delaware C corporation, an LLC, or a partnership? It all depends on what kind of business you're opening, how many people are involved, and the scope of your industry. If you're a sole proprietor, should you still obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS? For these decisions, it's wise to get a savvy startup lawyer on your side.
If you plan on hiring employees, a whole new minefield opens up. Just recently, a Missouri law was passed that more than doubles the employee overtime exemption wage amount. What does this mean for a startup? Startup employees sometimes work long hours for relatively low pay, all in hope of greater rewards when the business takes off. As of 2017, you would need to pay them twice as much as before or become subject to overtime pay regulations. A local Missouri startup attorney would be aware of this law and understand how it affects your fledgling business.
You'll probably need to raise capital. Offering share options, selling stock, and approaching investors are all options. A savvy local startup attorney would also know of LaunchKC, a program that has awarded $1 million in grants to startups based out of downtown Kansas City. Other small business grants, offered to groups such as women, minorities, and veterans, can be leveraged. More obscure businesses types, such as those associated with tourism, foam recycling, and French translation, have other grants available. Your Kansas City startup lawyer can help you find those funds.
How to Find the Best Startup Lawyer
It's best to begin your search locally since a Kansas City-based attorney would know about regulations specific to the region. For example, you may not know that certain new businesses (such as corporations, LLCs, and limited partnerships) by law must maintain a "registered agent" in Missouri for service of process, legal notices, and other official matters. If you're a Missouri resident, you can register as your own agent. Otherwise, you'll need to find and hire one. Non-local lawyers may not know about this.
If you're opening a tech company or internet-based business, a local attorney can also help you understand the impact of Google Fiber on the Kansas City region. A few years ago, Kansas City became the very first Google Fiber community. This ultra-high-speed internet service has drawn tons of startups to the region, greatly impacting local finances, employment, and countless other factors. What does this mean for your new startup, its hiring processes, and the associated costs of opening your doors? Your startup attorney can answer these questions.
Referrals are a great way to get started, especially if you've developed a network of local businesspeople in a field associated with yours. If you have a banker, they could be a good source. The Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is another reputable source of information. You may also want to check out the Missouri Bar Lawyer Referral Service. It can recommend local attorneys and will give you up to 30 minutes of consultation for a $25 fee.
Once you've whittled down your list, go online and look for reviews. Before you make your final choice, Google a few of the people who posted reviews. You should be able to find some phone numbers. Give them a call and ask specifically about using that attorney to help your business venture get off the ground. If they're a reputable businessperson, they'll be happy to help.
Once a lawyer makes it through your screening process, contact them for an interview. Ensure they have lots of experience working with companies like yours. They should be enthusiastic and believe in your mission. Imagine working with this person for years to come - does this thought appeal to you, or make you cringe? It seems trivial, but it's important that you like your attorney since you'll be spending a lot of time together.
Questions for a Potential Startup Attorney
- From what law school did you graduate, and how long have you been practicing law?
- How many years of experience do you have working with startup businesses? What kinds of businesses have you helped in the past?
- How many companies like mine have you helped, and how many of them are still in business?
- How long have you lived and practiced in Kansas City?
- How do you usually communicate with your clients?
- What do you enjoy doing on your days off?
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Kansas City Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Kansas City 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 Kansas City 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 Kansas City, MO.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Kansas City 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 Kansas City startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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What are Startup Costs?
Startup costs are (1) the expenses a business incurs before it is actually operating plus (2) the cash the business will need to pay its recurring operating expenses during the post-launch period when it is generating insufficient cash flow to cover those payables.
A Good Business Plan Is Crucial
The founders of a new business should devote significant time and effort to the preparation of detailed business plan so that the startup costs are not underestimated. A miscalculation in this area can have a variety of bad consequences:
A delayed store opening or product launch
Last minute borrowing for startup expenses and working capital at high interest rates
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What Is Specific Performance?
Specific performance is the legal concept that anyone who signs a contract is bound to the terms of the contract. It encompasses the idea that all parties to a contract are bound by the exact terms stated in that contract and that there are remedies that a wronged party can pursue when someone is in breach of those terms. These remedies include filing a lawsuit to collect damages or seeking a court order requiring the infringing party to live up to their obligations. The latter remedy is specific performance.
Specific performance remedies require taking a hard stance as to the language in the contract. It is important because it carries the weight of the courts behind it to hold contractors to their agreements. If a party fails to uphold their end of the bargain, they can be fined, held in contempt of court, or even arrested.
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