Startups and Emerging Growth Companies
At Lex Nova, we believe the best thing you can do for yourself and for the world is to start a business. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the American economy, creating jobs, driving innovation, improving lives, and generally making the world a better place.
As entrepreneurs ourselves, we know what it takes to build a successful business. Whether your company is just an idea on paper, thinking about a big potential exit, or anywhere in between, Lex Nova’s team of seasoned startup lawyers are in the trenches with you to put you and your company in the best possible position for success. We regularly represent founders and their companies at all stages of a startup’s lifecycle and have experience advising companies in a wide variety of industries including those in the medical device, life sciences, financial technology, software and SaaS, blockchain, and consumer products industries.
The key to our approach is trust. Nobody knows your business like you do, but our clients rely on us to build a legal infrastructure that meets the needs of their business.
Forming a New Business Entity
Starting a business is hard. Forming a new entity for your business doesn’t have to be. Our startup attorneys regularly assist founders with all aspects of transforming their business idea into an actual company by:
- Advising founders on the right choice of business entity – C corporations, limited liability companies, S corporations, and other options – including advice on the tax and financing implications of different entities;
- Providing practical business and legal advice on issues such as the choice of a business name and related branding;
- Devising cost-effective legal strategies to prevent and/or clean up a company’s earlier mistakes in forming a new entity; and
- Serving as outside business advisors to assist with the development of the company.
Behind every great idea is a great team. But great teams are more than just the sum of their individual parts. Building a great team means not only finding the right people with the right skills to help your company succeed, but also aligning incentives and structuring relationships to get everyone pulling together in the same direction. Lex Nova’s startup attorneys can help you build a great team by:
- Advising on the split of equity among founders so to ensure a functioning company in the present while protecting and preserving financial upside and control in the future;
- Structuring equity incentive plans to reward and retain key contributors and advisors;
- Drafting multi-party shareholder agreements to ensure alignment of incentives between founders;
- Navigating complex federal and state employment laws to help you hire, fire, and retain key employees; and
- Negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts with significant customers, clients, and suppliers.
For many founders, raising money is both a necessary evil and a welcome validation of a company’s success. With so many financing options available to successful startups, it can be overwhelming for many entrepreneurs to simultaneously raise money while also continuing to develop their business. At Lex Nova, our startup attorneys can help you with:
- Deciding what type of financing structure (debt, equity, or some alternative or hybrid structure) is best for your company;
- Identifying the best source of capital for your proposed financing (e., finding the right angel investor, venture capital fund, or other source of capital for your business);
- Negotiating and drafting financing documents such as convertible notes, SAFEs, accelerator investment agreements, and preferred stock purchase agreements;
- Conducting legally-compliant offerings of securities using the method that works best for your business; and
- Navigating complex securities, tax, and other federal and state financial regulatory regimes to allow you to close your financing round on the best possible terms for the company.
From day one, our startup attorneys are laser-focused on putting you and your company in the best possible position for a successful and lucrative exit. For some companies that means a public offering. For most, it means positioning your company to be sold to a larger company on the best possible terms. When the time is right, our startup attorneys can help you plan for and capture this success by:
- Helping you identify potential buyers;
- Advising on and negotiating the essential terms of a sale, including the type of compensation and deal structure (g., stock or asset, direct or indirect sale);
- Tax planning, to help you keep as much of the proceeds as possible;
- Drafting the documents and performing due diligence to facilitate the potential deal; and
- Assisting with any post-closing obligations to ensure the sale is a success and that you are able to retain as much of the financial upside of the sale as possible.