Tampa Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Lawyer?
Just about every company will need to consult with a lawyer at some point, and this is especially true for new startup companies. If you're starting a new business in Tampa, Florida, you may wonder if hiring a startup lawyer is really necessary. It will certainly come at a cost, but in most cases, it's well worth working the expense into the budget. Having a legal partner who can help you address legal concerns and issues as they come up is invaluable to new business owners, especially those who are entering the startup world for the first time.
Before you can start operating under your business name, you'll need to register it with the state of Florida. This requires filling out and filing a form and paying a fee to the Department of Revenue. You may also need to fill out a separate form to obtain a business license from the County Tax Collector. The next step is obtaining an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS, which allows a startup to begin hiring and paying employees. Each of these tasks requires several steps, and the forms can be confusing and overwhelming to fill out, but an attorney that represents your startup can help you through them.
Hiring legal counsel for your business is important, regardless of the size or number of employees. Bringing on employees also requires that you follow federal and state regulations, such as confirming that all potential hires are legally authorized to work in the United States as well as making sure that none of your new employees are violating non-compete contracts with previous employers.
When you work with a knowledgeable lawyer who has experience with startups, he or she can help guide you through these new and unfamiliar requirements. Some business owners believe that the cost of legal support is too expensive, but the actual amount may come as a pleasant surprise. Lawyers may offer discounted or flat-rate pricing to startup companies, helping them get their businesses up and running without worrying about legal issues that could shut them down.
How to Find the Best Startup Lawyer
When seeking the best startup lawyer in Tampa, you'll need to focus on those that practice business law. But beyond that, it's important to discuss specifics with your potential lawyer. If he or she specializes in support for bigger companies, that attorney may not be a great fit. The needs of startup business owners are very different from those of larger organizations, so finding an attorney who understands those unique needs is necessary.
As you begin your search for the top lawyer for your company, ask around among other small business owners that you know of in the area. You can also perform an online search to find local attorneys that can provide support and resources. One benefit of searching online is that you can often read reviews from past clients. Honest, unbiased reviews are some of the best options to get an idea of the lawyer's strengths and abilities.
A leading startup lawyer should have at least a few years of experience working with small companies. His or her practice should focus on the laws governing corporations and securities, employment, intellectual property, and taxes. These are the main issues that will come up for new business owners.
If you're launching a new product or invention, you'll need to file for patent protection to restrict others from copying your idea. But the process of filing for a patent is difficult and time-consuming. You'll have to fill out forms, supply detailed drawings and samples of the invention, and pay any associated fees. If someone else already owns a patent on a similar product, the time spent applying will be a waste. A lawyer who understands intellectual property and patent laws can search for existing and pending patents, saving you time and money.
Deciding whether to incorporate is another challenging task for first-time startup owners. There are several options when it comes to incorporating your business, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks. These are just a few of the complex aspects of starting a company, so relying on someone who understands the legal process is a smart choice.
Questions for a Startup Lawyer
- Have you worked with other startup companies in a similar industry?
- How do you bill for your legal services? Hourly vs. flat-rate billing, require a retainer, etc.?
- Will our company work with you or another attorney in your firm?
- Do you offer any special pricing for startup companies?
- What is (are) your preferred method(s) of communication?
- How quickly can I expect a response when I call or email you?
- What makes you the best startup lawyer in Tampa?
After you hire your startup lawyer in Tampa, you can move forward with running and operating your business, instead of worrying about legal issues and concerns.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Tampa Startup Attorneys
On UpCounsel, you can find and connect with top-rated Tampa 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 Tampa 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 Tampa, FL.
From primarily dealing with things like business formation, contracts, leases, equity financing, securities, and intellectual property protection, the Tampa 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 Tampa startup lawyer on UpCounsel to help you today.
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- 3 min read
What Does a Limited Partnership Mean?
A limited partnership (LP) is formed when at least two individuals decide to create a business together. Unlike other partnerships, there must be at least one limited partner and one general partner in the business relationship.
Importantly, the "general partner" has unlimited liability for the company's debt and obligations.
There can be any number of "limited partners" who don't share managerial roles, but their liability is limited to the total amount of liability invested in the company. "Limited Partners" are also called "silent partners" since they can invest in the company, but they have no voting power, do not receive dividends, nor have control of the da
- 4 min read
What Are Co-sale Rights?
Co-sale rights, also known as tag-along or (less often) take-me-along rights, are the rights of minority shareholders to join in when the majority shareholder or the founders sell their stock. Therefore, if the company's original owner sells his or her stock to a corporation for $20 per share, every investor with a co-sale right can get the same deal.
Co-sale rights are usually paired with the right of first refusal, or ROFR. With an ROFR clause, a company or its shareholders can buy the majority shareholder's stock if he or she decides to sell to a third party. This lets the current investors keep control of the company in case they don't like the third-party investor.
For example, say a company called Unlimited Clo
- 18 min read
What Is Startup Capital?
Startup capital is the money needed to start a new business. Startup capital might be needed to pay for office space, permits, licenses, inventory, product development, manufacturing, marketing, or any other expense that results from starting a new business.
Seed capital, startup funds, working capital, or seed money.
Types of Startup Capital
For each stage of its life, a company has different financial needs. Each level of funding plays a unique role in that stage of your business.
Seed capital is used for initial research and planning before starting the business.
Startup capital pays for rent and supplies during the first year or so of your business.
- 5 min read
What Is a Pass-Through Entity?
Pass-through entities are structured entities that offer business owners a more favorable tax rate while still protecting the owner or members from personal liability. For federal income tax purposes, types of pass-through entities include sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S Corporations.
Because pass-through entities do not pay income taxes on a corporate level, they can provide an alternative to the double taxation that occurs in a Corporation business structure. With a pass-through entity, the owners share the income, and their income levels determine the amount of tax they owe.
Pass-through entities, or flow-through entities, make up over 60 percent of all business entities in the United States.
Reasons to Consider Using a Pass-Through Entity
Business owners use pass-through entities
Startups have one big advantage in attracting talent. While big companies can offer big paychecks and great benefits, startups can offer employees the chance at becoming very rich through sharing company ownership. Here is an introduction to the methods companies use to decide how to split up equity fairly between the founders and employees at early-stage startups.
There are as many different opinions about the how to to structure an equity split for a startup company as there are startups. It is always a good idea to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before finalizing any equity split agreement.
What Is an Equity Split?
Equity refers to non-cash compensation that represents partial ownership in a company. The equity is usually divided up, or split, among the early founders, financial supporters and sometimes e