Miami Startup Attorneys & Lawyers
How it Works
Joshua M. Gold
Pura Rodriguez, Jd, Mba
Chad Van Horn
M. Kristina Raattama
Dawn M. Rapoport, Esq.
David M. Harris, Esq.
Miami Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Lawyer?
Handling legal issues as a new business owner in Miami, Florida, may make it hard for you to focus on the growth and success of your company. Instead of worrying about whether to incorporate and which business entity to form, how to file for an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS, and where to start for raising capital, you can hire a startup lawyer who will handle all of these concerns, plus any others that may come up.
Many startups work in the technology industry, so understanding the importance of protecting intellectual property is another necessity. Between the three different types of patents, trademarks, service marks, and copyrights, it's hard to know what your startup's intellectual property will qualify for and how to go about protecting it. Filing the necessary applications and documentation is also very complex.
Startup companies in the Miami area have several options when it comes to incorporating. The business owner can form a sole proprietorship if he or she is the only owner. But when you have multiple founders or owners, it becomes more complicated. An experienced attorney can help you determine the pros and cons of each option and then make an informed decision that will benefit your company. After you decide how to incorporate, your lawyer can help you fill out and file the paperwork with the state of Florida.
If your startup needs investors, you'll need to make sure to stay in line with all laws and requirements around capital investments. Drawing up contracts and documents that detail the investors' roles in the business as well as their ownership percentages must be done properly to avoid legal troubles in the future. Venture capitalists tend to have a lot of experience with startups, so they can find and exploit any loopholes or errors in the contracts.
With so many things to keep track of when starting a new business, it's always best to have a trusted legal partner who understands business laws and can help solve problems quickly and efficiently.
How to Find the Best Startup Lawyer
When your startup doesn't have legal support, it will be a lot more difficult to incorporate, bring on employees, and raise money from investors. Figuring out which forms to file and how to fill them out property is just one of the tasks that can cause confusion among new business owners.
As you seek out the top startup lawyer in Miami to work with your company, make sure to look for attorneys that have experience with other startups. Unlike established companies, brand-new startups have to face issues like hiring, applying for business licenses, patent protection as well as trademarks on logos or other designs, and generating contracts for investors, customers, and potential sellers.
One important step when finding the best startup lawyer is searching the Florida State Bar Association website. This resource will include lawyer referral services, helping you find one close to you in Miami. It also has information about whether attorneys within their databases have had any disciplinary action taken against them, or worse, if they've been disbarred. If the attorney you're considering working with isn't listed on the state bar website, this is a major red flag.
You can also read reviews online of potential startup lawyers in the Miami area. These reviews are helpful because they allow you to see how the experiences of other business owners were when working with the attorney.
After you select a few lawyers that seem to have the experience to handle your startup's needs, you can schedule a consultation to meet with each one in person. Bring a list of questions and concerns so you can get the answers you need before you make a decision. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the potential attorney, since you'll be working closely with him or her through a number of legal issues.
Questions for a Startup Lawyer
- What is your previous experience working with startup companies?
- What is your practice focus?
- How long have you been practicing law in Florida?
- Will we work with you or someone else within your law firm?
- How well do you understand the industry of my startup?
- How easily can we reach you if something urgent arises?
- How do you prefer to communicate? Email, phone, other methods?
- How do you charge companies for legal support? Hourly or flat rate?
- Do you offer discounted rates to startups or small businesses?
- How well do you handle technology in your legal practice?
- Do you have time to take on the tasks associated with a new startup client?
- Do you have experience helping any of your clients secure funding from investors?
Working with a knowledgeable startup attorney can help your Miami-based company thrive, allowing you to avoid a number of legal issues.
Legal Tips and Information
Miami Startup Attorneys
Startups need to find a lawyer that can meet and exceed their expectations while remaining inside their budget. Finding the best startup attorney in Miami is a matter of assessing the needs and wants of the company. There are four main areas of concern for the typical emerging business:
2. Legal activities in day-to-day life
3. Customer and website agreements
4. Corporate formation
Choosing a Miami startup lawyer that is very familiar with the specialty of the business is important. Most well-known and experienced Miami start up attorneys will have expertise in the four main areas of business formation.
How the Best Miami Startup Attorneys Help New Companies with Capital
The financial climate in the US isn’t currently ideal for emerging companies trying to raise capital. While the money may not come easily, it does exist, and the right Miami startup attorney can help guide a new company down a path that is most likely to lead to success in the area of raising capital. Here are four things startup founders can do to help:
Have a detailed business plan
Serious investors and willing to take a long hard look at a startup’s business plan. Making sure the company road map is in the best possible condition increases the chances of snagging solid investors. A great business plan should include the following elements:
- Details about use of past and current funds
- Audience segments
- Target markets
- Realistic pro formas
- Financial models
- Investor exit strategies
- Competitive threats
- First mover advantage
Before seeking the attention of investors, it’s a smart move to have a startup lawyer take a long look at the business plan. Seek out an experienced Miami startup attorney with experience in helping new businesses write compelling and complete business plans.
Raise Enough Capital During Each Round of Formation
Having a complete and detailed capital formation strategy requires founders to raise a predetermined amount of capital at various stages in the company’s early life. This is another area where the best startup lawyers will lend a helping hand. Most startup founders don’t have extensive experience with raising capital and ask for too little from initial investors or fail to seek out investors that have the ability to also fund subsequent capital formation rounds.
Generate Profits Quickly to Stimulate Interest in the Company from Investors
Revenue building, even early in the game, demonstrates a company’s ability to please the market and gives investors confidence in the company’s future. Great investors will look closely at how steep the revenue growth curve is and judge a company’s viability on this factor. Net profit margins and operating costs are also crucial early in a company’s life.
Founders need to be able to show that their company is scalable early in its life in order to secure necessary capital. A Miami startup lawyer can help founders make decisions that facilitate early revenue building and scalability.
Get into Investors' Heads
Founders that think like investors greatly increase their company’s chances of accessing the capital it needs. Understanding what excites and interests investors is just as important as knowing what red flags they’ll look for during the get-to-know-you phase and during the time when they are making decisions about whether or not to invest in the company. It takes more than money to overcome challenges in the marketplace and founders who understand this fact have an easier time relating to and forming lasting relationships with investors.
Miami startup lawyers understand the securing capital and making connections between high-quality startups and serious investors is a crucial part of their function in a new company. Finding a startup attorney in Miami who can discuss their successes in the area of raising capital alongside company founders is a worthy goal.
How Miami Startup Lawyers Help New Companies with Tax Strategy and Compliance
Many of the best Miami startup lawyers have experience walking new companies through tax compliance and strategy to maximize profits while staying well within the boundaries of the law.
Missing even one tax payment or making a simple error may mean lost revenue for a new company that can’t spare the extra money it’ll cost to set the situation right. Understanding whether to file losses and gains on personal taxes, taking appropriate deductions for business expenses, and staying up-to-date with tax payments may sound like a to-do list for an accountant, however an experienced startup lawyer can help founders make the right decisions leading up to these events that will help minimize the negative effect taxes may have on a company’s profitability.
Each state has its own tax rules and regulations, and Florida is no exception. Finding a startup attorney in Miami that is well-versed in the tax rules as they apply to startups is essential to the healthy growth of emerging companies in the area.
There’s value in choosing a lawyer that understands cost constraints, company culture, and can adapt to changing situations. Keep in mind that most startups use more than one attorney and may choose a professional with specific expertise when a one-of-a-kind situation presents itself.
The Miami Startup Scene
South Florida has a lot to offer startup founders. The entrepreneurial ecosystem is rich with resources that enable new companies to reach their goals quickly. Miami is one of the most active startup communities in the US. Angel investors, coworking spaces, startup events, and networking assistance are all easy to find in Miami.
Coworking Space in Miami
BUILDING is a coworking space that attracts technology companies. It is the Miami location for “500 Startups” and houses the local company Ironhack. It offers a rooftop event space, private offices, and dedicated desks.
Located in North Miami, EcoTech Visions is an incubator for environmentally-focused products and businesses. Mentorship, light manufacturing, and workspace is all available for Miami-based startups. This coworking space also offers fellowship and externship programs for students in the area.
Miami Entrepreneurship Center (MEC)
The Miami Entrepreneurship Center is a not-for-profit coworking space with shared offices, networking events that happen weekly, and a multitude of educational opportunities. MEC was one of Miami’s first coworking spaces.
With locations in Coral Gables and Brickell, Pipeline offers conference rooms, event space, desks, and private offices. Small businesses are invited to collaborate for the good of all of the participants at Pipeline.
Located in downtown Miami, Starthub is a Miami incubator program that helps companies strategize, market their products and ideas, and even handle web development. They have flexible space, private office suites, dedicated desks, and virtual office support, as well.
The LAB Miami
This collaborative event and work space is in Wynwood and is located inside a 10,000 square foot warehouse. LAB Miami members have 24/7 access to meeting rooms. Perks include lockers, free parking, and a bike share program.
Startup Funding Sources
This Miami-based network includes angel investors who are willing to provide smart capital for entrepreneurs who classify themselves as disruptive. Accelerated Growth Partners Miami takes applications from startups to participate in pitch meetings every four weeks. Investments range from $50k to $500k.
Endeavor Miami mentors a group of companies that are poised to strengthen the market by creating high-value jobs. This funding group is primarily concerned with removing economic and cultural barriers to entrepreneurship and cultivating startups in the Miami area.
FAU Startup Runway
This program provides the emerging companies selected to participate with fundraising, launch assistance, and research. It is a Florida Atlantic University program based on MIT and Stanford curricula.
Founded in Chile and Argentina, Idea.me recently chose Miami as the location for its expansion into the United States. Idea.me’s Create Miami initiative offers matching funds of up to $5k for local projects.
This organization assists early stage companies from Eastern and Central Europe and Israel with the transition to Miami. Incubeach.MIAMI helps startups connect with a network of supporters that includes funders.
Connecting with the Miami Startup Community
There are many opportunities to connect with the local startup community for Miami, even for founders that are new in town. The monthly speaker series, Brainfood at The LAB is a great place to start. Located at the coworking space in Wynwood, this series invites a successful local entrepreneur to offer advice to aspiring local emerging company founders each month.
MentorDay, created by local entrepreneur Juan Lopez Salaberry, arranges monthly 45-minutes one-on-one sessions between seasoned business owners and startup founders to help solve the emerging company’s most pressing problems. This is a free program scheduled for the third Friday of each month. Company founders must apply to participate.
South Florida’s tech and entrepreneurial community enjoys ongoing support from Refresh Miami. Educational workshops, meetups, and a busy job board are all part of the services provided by this key organization. Refresh Miami is responsible for more than 100 networking events in the area.
Smart City Startups hosts an annual summit that showcases 100 local startups with a focus on solving urban problems with technological innovation. Multiple panels and workshops help company founders find funding and seek answers to their most pressing questions. The summit is a world-famous event that attracts founders from many countries.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Miami Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Miami 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 Miami 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 Miami, FL.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Miami 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 Miami startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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