Oklahoma City Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Attorney?
No matter what industry your startup business is in, there are two experts you should hire to make sure your company launches successfully: an accountant and an attorney. By helping you with financial and legal issues, these professionals let you spend your time on business ownership and management.
The reason you'd hire a lawyer or a law firm that calls itself a startup specialist is because the field is very broad in the U.S. Business law has several subcategories big enough for a law firm to handle only those cases. But a startup needs to deal with every kind of business law at once, and so they need a firm that can do the same.
For instance, business law includes:
- Intellectual property law. This includes copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Most businesses have to deal with trademark law, even if they don't plan to register one. That being said, hiring an attorney to help with your trademark gives you a 50 percent better chance of approval. A top lawyer can also let you know which other IP protections you need, how you can get them, and if you should protect your IP later.
- Business organization and entity decisions. Startups don't turn into megacorporations overnight, and until yours does, you need to decide how to organize it. Options include single ownership, limited and general partnerships, an LLC, and full incorporation. Each type has tax advantages and drawbacks, and the best lawyers can help you figure out which one works best for you.
- Contract law. Aside from products and services you sell to the public (and sometimes even then), every professional relationship your company has comes with a contract. This includes employees, clients, suppliers, contractors, and distributors. If you want to make sure these relationships are honest and not harmful to your company, you need a top lawyer who can create, read, and negotiate these contracts for you.
- Property law. Once you get past the point of working out of your garage or home office, you need to lease commercial or office space. These are contracts, too, and you should have a lawyer who can handle them.
How to Find the Best Startup Attorneys in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City has the advantage of a solid industrial foundation that isn't going anywhere. The city is practically the capital of the southern Great Plains, and just about all the ranches and farms in the region funnel through here.
However, the farm and cattle industries aren't the only ones responsible for Oklahoma City's vast skyline. The state capital is also home to several major energy corporations, and the number of small businesses is going up. Oklahoma City is cooler and windier than East Texas, plus the taxes and cost of living are both low. For these reasons, the city government has pushed to make small business loans more available. These days, dozens of startups and small businesses appear every year.
To support these companies, startup attorneys are becoming more common in Oklahoma City. However, not every firm is as good as the next. You need to decide what kind of lawyer and firm you want, so you should keep several things in mind.
- Personality matching. Do you take big risks or do you play it safe? Do you take an aggressive approach, or do you play nice? Your startup attorney may be with you for a long time, so you should make sure you won't spend your time arguing over the details.
- Size and fees. A big firm has a lot of staff and resources, but it usually has the fees to match. A smaller firm won't drain as much of your startup loan, but it also can't help as much. Which one you choose is as much about your industry as your funds. If IP laws are important and the competition uses lawsuits as a kind of greeting, a big firm on permanent retainer is a good investment.
- Client reviews. Lawsuit and contract details may be confidential, but which companies hire which firms is usually public knowledge. You should ask your fellow startups which firms they trust, and you should ask firms you're interested in whether they understand your industry and have references you can check.
Questions for a Startup Attorney
- How many years have you been a professional lawyer?
- How many years have you helped other startups in my industry?
- Can your firm handle every legal aspect of starting a business in Oklahoma City? If not, do you have contacts with other law firms that can fill in the blanks?
- Can you respond to a legal crisis in less than 24 hours?
- How do you structure your fees? How much would it cost to put your firm on retainer?
- Can you put me in touch with other startups like mine for references to help my business grow?
A startup attorney should be someone you can get along with for a long time. Make sure you choose carefully.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Oklahoma City Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma City, OK.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma City startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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- 6 min read
Master Service Agreement: What Is It?
A master service agreement is when two parties agree to a contract that will settle most details and expectations for both parties. It'll state what each group has to do to honor their end of the bargain. It'll also show which services apply in the master service agreement.
The goal of a master service agreement is to make the contract process faster. It also should make future contract agreements simpler. A master service agreement (MSA) is also called a service level agreement (SLA). It spells out:
- Confidentiality: The parties agree they won't share company secrets with outside parties.
- Delivery requirements: The businesses decide who will deliver what and when.
- Dispute resolution: Should issues arise, the MSA states how the parties will
- 4 min read
What Are Non-cumulative Dividends?
Non-cumulative dividends refer to a stock that doesn't pay the investor any dividends that are omitted or unpaid. Dividends are payments made to shareholders and can be preferred or common. Preferred refers to stock that is paid before common stockholders, and it has a more predictable income.
A non-cumulative dividend is a type of preferred stock that does not owe any missed payments. Dividends are payments a company distributes to their shareholders. Preferred stock receives priority over common stock. This occurs regardless if the stock is cumulative or non-cumulative.
- 10 min read
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.
- 6 min read
Nonprofit Organizations: What Are They?
If you're wondering how to start a nonprofit organization, you probably already have a good idea what a nonprofit organization is. If not, here’s a brief description. A Nonprofit organization (also known as non-business entity or NPO) is an organization that does not earn profits for its owners. Instead, the profits earned, or donations taken in, by the NPO are used to fund the programs and objectives of the NPO. Most nonprofit organizations are charitable, religious or scientific in nature. NPOs are usually tax exempt, that is, they are not required to pay taxes on moneys earned or otherwise taken in.
This federal government website lists the categories of organizations that the government recognizes as nonprofit, including