Ideas are slowly changing the world, and in the process, they are making people rich, which is a win-win in all respects. But what most founders agree on is that an idea is only as good as the team that helps steer it forward. A startup needs professionals in its team who add value, including lawyers. A good startup lawyer will not only add value but will help the team get better deals. It is important for you as a founder to pick the right lawyer. How do you know your startup needs a lawyer? This can only be answered by looking at what a lawyer brings to a startup.
Company consultation services
An attorney is not merely the conventional type of consultant who advises on management and strategy, operations, and marketing aspects of a business, to mention a few. The attorney is a special type of consultant. They help you decide on the most suitable type of company for your startup, especially when the startup involves two founders collaborating. An attorney’s advice on equity rights and the appropriate corporate structure would be invaluable in this case. It would be advisable to allow the same attorney to set up the company for you.
In some instances, you may need help with intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights. IP is one fundamental aspectthatall startups deal with as most of them have IP, and a unique one at that,as the core of their business. Your preferred business attorney can directly handle your IP concerns or direct you to IP professionals who they can vouch for.
Drafting and reviewing contracts
We previously mentioned that an idea is only as good as the team you build to steer it forward. That being said, an attorney’s role is crucial when it comes to the employment of staff. They may not be part of the process of scouting for talent; but they can come in when you want to tie down the singled-out talents to a contract. Most startup employees are engaged on a contractual basis, especially if the startup is at its early stages.
But employment laws are rapidly changing, and the contractor might as well be an employee according to state laws. New York has a wide range and complex employment laws designed to protect employees. Failure to comply with these laws will spell trouble with federal and state authorities. This means you would need a knowledgeable attorney to ensure specific contracts are drafted in line with the law and your requirements. Additionally, they will explain to you what the contract means to you as the founder/employer so that you remain aware.
General legal advice
A business attorney is an invaluable asset to any founder, especially when two founders decide to go at it together. Picture this; two founders decide to work together, but one has more shares than the other. In this case, who would benefit from a lawyer? Both would benefit—the attorney advises both of them on their rights under the specific agreement. If the inverse happens, in that both have equal shares, a business lawyer would still be a useful asset. The lawyer will help in arbitration when issues arise between the founders and help them make decisions that would benefit both of them.
If your startup is in a field, like fintech, for example, that is heavily regulated with constantly changing laws; then you need a corporate lawyer. Ignorance of the law is no defense. This means that if a law changes and you don’t know about it and fail to implement the changes, you will still be held liable.
Who is the right lawyer?
The right lawyer should essentially have experience dealing with startups and must be well versed in the law. Other than this, they should show their willingness to grow with you.A lawyer is essentially a business partner; picking the wrong one can be costly. The attorney you want to settle for understands your business model. Their understanding of your business model will mean they can decipher your marketing opportunities and will, in turn, help you make decisions that will favor the company.
If you are in New York with a startup, please contact the Kokolakis Law Firm Today. We are an Astoria-based New York law firm who are willing to grow with your startup. Wish to learn more? Simply visit us at kokolakislaw.com