As I outlined in my last post, convertible notes are the most frequently used instrument for raising capital at the seed stage. This article describes their key features.
When I advise startups or investors about structuring a seed-stage investment, I explain that there are a number of different instruments to choose from. They vary in complexity and cost and their economic impact on the company, among other things.
There is a point in the life of every start-up when it needs to establish a plan to reward its employees for their service by giving them a piece of the pie, i.e., their share of the potential upside. Being a 100% upside person myself, most employees drawn to start-ups tend to be more interested in the possibility of hitting a home-run rather than the fixed cash payment every month.
Some of the questions I get asked by my start-up clients are perennial in nature, with the most common being: Do I have to form a legal entity, and if so, what kind and why? Entrepreneurs have a number of legal structures available when seeking to capitalize on a million-dollar idea. Each type of entity has distinct advantages and disadvantages that I discuss below, and the decision should be tailored to your individual situation. The choice will impact the amount of tax you pay, the amount of paperwork you are required to do, the personal liability you face, and your fundraising activities. While there are a number of different kinds of entities, I am focusing here on the most common—the sole proprietorship, the LLC, the S-Corporation and the C-Corporation.
One of my mantras when advising clients is to pay particular attention to their intellectual property when thinking about building value in their companies. This requires a comprehensive IP strategy that covers IP creation and protection. It is best started from the get-go, but it is never too late. You’ll need it to build and protect your IP assets to help you to monetize what you have built.
This January, as with every January, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its examination priorities for investment advisors for the year, many of which had been on the SEC’s radar for years and should not come as a surprise.
Two or more people decide to launch a new business, and this is how it typically goes down regarding the relationship between them: "We have known each other for a long time, or our interests are totally aligned and we see it through together through the exit, or what can possibly go wrong, let’s not think about worst case — so a handshake must surely be enough." Yeah, right. Until it isn’t.
As I’ve written before, the race to opening your new venture is characterized by expansive enthusiasm—but that doesn’t make having important legal safeguards any less important. Unfortunately, founders often do not engage in the necessary legal counsel to guide them through the process. In this post I present three essential tasks that, considering the implications of doing them incorrectly, make investing in legal counsel worth every penny.
I advise many entrepreneurs who are in the process of starting a new business. Most of them are bootstrapped with little cash to spare on “luxuries,” like obtaining comprehensive legal advice. I can assure you based on my experience that some important issues should really be carefully deliberated and analyzed on day one. In this post, I aim to give you an overview of some important steps on the road to protecting and growing your company’s true value.