Saint Louis Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Attorney?
Starting a new business involves a lot of paperwork and legal hurdles. For the most part, making a mistake won't hurt you in the short-term, but even a small error can become a massive headache further down the line.
For instance, according to the stories, Steve Jobs named his company Apple Computers on a whim. This wasn't a problem at first, but as his company expanded he ran into Apple Records. That's the publishing company The Beatles created. Because they used the same name, both companies went through years of lawsuits, and they only reached an agreement very recently. A good startup lawyer might have seen this problem coming and warned Jobs to pick a name like "Peach" or "Plum" instead.
Rather than specializing in trademarks and intellectual property rights, a startup attorney has to cover a lot of bases. These include:
- Contract law. You need someone who can write out contracts for employees, contractors, clients and customers, suppliers, distributors, and everyone else you'll have a long-term relationship with. Unless you word these contracts just right, the other party might be able to do things you don't want. The document might not even be legal in the first place.
- IP law. If your company creates something new and unique, you need a patent lawyer to guide you through the system and then protect your patent. Even if you don't go through the patent process, you need an attorney who can help you choose and register a trademark to represent your business. For some companies, copyright protection is also important.
- Real estate and property law. When you're choosing an office building or a commercial space and signing a lease, it helps to have someone on hand to negotiate a better contract.
- Business organization. Your new company could be a partnership, an LLC, or something else. A startup attorney helps you decide which organization is best and lends a hand with completing the paperwork.
Even the best startup attorney can't guarantee smooth sailing, but they can help you navigate the stormy sea that is a business startup. If you need a different law specialist for the job, they can find you the best around.
How to Find the Best Startup Attorneys in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri used to be a big-business town, but recently the big businesses have started to move away. However, while the city's population is decreasing, the metro area population has been slowly growing. Why is this? Because for every big company that leaves St. Louis, a thousand startups take its place.
St. Louis might not be on the same scale as Silicon Valley, but magazines like Business Insider and Popular Mechanics are noticing that St. Louis has become one of the best cities in America to start a small business. This is especially nice for Midwesterners who don't want to move to an expensive coastal city to make their fortune.
Because of this, it's easy to find startup lawyers and attorneys in St. Louis. But how can you choose the right one? There are several points you should be aware of.
- Size. The small fees of a small firm are very tempting, especially for a small company on a tight budget. However, a big firm has a lot of lawyers and resources to throw at any problem.
- Your industry. You should research how often companies like yours face lawsuits. If it happens a lot, you'll want a bigger law firm to watch your back.
- Experience. Any law firm or lawyer can say they're a good fit for a startup business, but they might only have experience with larger companies. You should find out how many startups a firm has helped before you hire them yourself.
- Business referrals. Sites that rank lawyers tend to use peer rankings. This means they can give each other good scores as favors to each other. Instead, you should find other startup businesses and ask them which firms they use and trust.
Remember, having a lot of options doesn't mean that all of them are good. Lawyers and law firms can be good, great, or bad, just like any other business out there. That's why you should spend time researching which firms are the best before you put down any money.
Questions for a Startup Attorney
- Which aspects of business law do you specialize in? Does your firm have other lawyers who can help with the other aspects my startup needs?
- How many other startup companies in my industry have you helped?
- How many years of experience do you have? What is the average for your firm?
- How much would it cost to put your firm on long-term retainer? How much would you charge for each consultation and document preparation?
- How fast can you respond in a crisis?
- How much risk tolerance do you have and is it similar to mine?
Hiring a startup attorney or law firm can be the start of a productive long-term relationship. Make sure you choose wisely.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Saint Louis Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Saint Louis 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 Saint Louis 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 Saint Louis, MO.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Saint Louis 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 Saint Louis startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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