Resources

  • Startup Law 101 Series – Key Legal Rules For Who Owns the IP Relating to Your Startup
    June 23, 2009 12:00:00 am
    A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer explains for founders the meaning of the work-for-hire doctrine and how it applies in the context of startups. As a founder, you need to be able to spot the potential problems where the work-for-hire concept applies and you need to understand basic guidelines for how it works. Don’t get caught short and lose rights to your valuable intellectual property in this vital area. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Why Founders Should Use Cheap Stock in Capitalizing Their Startups
    June 18, 2009 12:00:00 am
    A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer explains why founders should use so-called cheap stock to capitalize their startup companies. Even for founders who understand this basic idea, this article will prove useful in illustrating a basic model for how this works in practice, especially in light of a subsequent Series A preferred stock funding. For those used to working with small business corporations, where cheap stock is seldom used, the article will explain a concept that is basic to the startup world. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Tips From a Business Lawyer on Becoming a Founder
    June 11, 2009 12:00:00 am
    Why become a founder? What should you do to become a successful founder? A veteran Silicon Valley business lawyer shares a few tips on these points as gleaned from a quarter-century’s experience of working extensively with founders and entrepreneurs. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Mistakes Founders Make – Neglecting Securities Laws
    June 09, 2009 12:00:00 am
    A veteran Silicon Valley lawyer offers guidance to founders on how they can avoid messing up with securities laws. Founders are concerned in general not to violate securities laws. They understand the seriousness of such violations. How, then, do they get into trouble in this area? The author, who has worked with thousands of founders and entrepreneurs as a startup business lawyer in Silicon Valley since 1984, explains how the problems can occur and what founders can do to minimize their risk in this important area. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Mistakes Founders Make – Misusing Form Contracts
    June 08, 2009 12:00:00 am
    Can you use form contracts in order to save on legal costs? A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer offers tips on this issue. Learn how to recognize and minimize your legal risks when attempting to “do it yourself.” Understand the limitations of doing it yourself. Not your typical “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” lawyer viewpoint. The author has worked with thousands of founders and entrepreneurs since 1984, knows the issues firsthand, and offers practical guidance to entrepreneurs on a vital issue that pops up routinely in our information age – one with which he deals nearly every day. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Mistakes Founders Make – Misunderstanding Capitalization
    June 04, 2009 12:00:00 am
    Founders in startup businesses often get confused over what “x% of the company” means. The issue pops up at the time of company formation, at any time someone is promised “x% of the company,” and at the time of VC funding, among other times. In this article, a veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer explains what this phrase means and about corporate capitalization generally. He explains the difference between “authorized” shares and “issued” shares, not just in technical terms but also so that founders can know why these terms are significant. He alerts founders to potential ambiguities in how percentage ownership in a company is understood at formation and at the time of funding. A vital topic for founders and entrepreneurs to understand. You will rarely see the concept of “capitalization” (the technical name for this topic) explained as comprehensively as here in a way that is made understandable to entrepreneurs. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Start-up Law 101 Series – Mistakes Founders Make – Ill Documented Relationships
    June 02, 2009 12:00:00 am
    A veteran Silicon Valley business lawyer continues his Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs by focusing on mistakes commonly made by founders. In this article, he discusses the problems arising from ill-documented relationships in early-stage companies. Learn what to watch for in this important area. Part of a grouping of articles under the Start-up Law 101 Series that will focus specifically on early-stage mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Business Law
    June 01, 2009 12:00:00 am
    A veteran Silicon Valley lawyer explains how entrepreneurs should go about trying to comprehend business law and how it affects their companies. Should you as entrepreneurs try to master the legal complexities associated with business law? Should you ignore business law altogether apart from simply leaving it to the lawyers? Is there a balance to be struck? This article gives you an overview of how to approach this important issue. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Word Origins – Why “Transfer” and “Translate” Are First Cousins and More About a Great Word Family
    May 26, 2009 12:00:00 am
    This article takes you on a tour of the many descendants derived from an ancient word family ultimately tracing back to the Greek word “fero” via the Latin. The author (a business lawyer) is expert neither in Greek nor in Latin nor in word origins but loves them all nevertheless and loves to see how words connect with one another through the ancient languages. Share his passion as he introduces to the interconnected world of the “fero” word family. Not for the faint of heart.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – When Should I Set Up an Entity For My Startup Business?
    May 23, 2009 03:56:02 pm
    A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer gives his thoughts on when you should set up your limited-liability entity for your startup venture. Learn the basic guidelines for this important decision, whether you are a solo founder or a member of a founding team and whether you are working out of a garage or are conducting active business or just trying to raise funds for your venture. Of special note is the author’s discussion of what “limited liability” really means. Written from a practical perspective with suggestions as well on how costs of setting up an entity should affect timing.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – What is Restricted Stock and How is it Used in My Startup Business?
    May 21, 2009 09:13:38 pm
    A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer explains the topic of “restricted stock” for founders and entrepreneurs. Learn the key elements of how to use this important equity incentive when assembling your founding teams. Get strategic advice on key points affecting such stock and how it is used in startups. With this in hand, you will be able to use your lawyer’s time effectively and you will know the important questions to ask. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series.
  • Silicon Valley Circa 1956 – A Valley That is No More
    May 20, 2009 09:07:13 am
    This article offers a snapshot of Silicon Valley in 1956 that will appeal to those who were there as nostalgia, to those who weren’t as a study in social contrasts with what is there today, and to tech startup founders and other technophiles as a glimpse of how the phenomenon we know as Silicon Valley initially took shape. Reflect and enjoy.
  • Legal Writing – What Makes For Good Legal Writing (Hint – It is Not Primarily About Technique)
    May 20, 2009 01:19:39 pm
    A veteran Silicon Valley lawyer shares his thoughts on what constitutes good legal writing. This article is aimed primarily at lawyers and law students but will also prove of interest to anyone who values good writing and the importance of building skills that help anyone to write well. For those outside the legal field, it emphasizes the traits to look for in good lawyering as it relates to writing and communication.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Ten Essential Legal Tips For Startups at Formation
    May 19, 2009 08:57:34 am
    This article offers ten essential legal tips that every founder of a startup business should consider at the time of company formation. Alerts founders to ways to protect the intellectual property in their technology startups as well as to tax and corporate issues associated with any startup formation involving a founding team.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Where Should I Incorporate My Startup Business?
    May 12, 2009 08:26:29 pm
    A veteran Silicon Valley startup business lawyer discusses the factors founders should consider before deciding to incorporate their startup ventures in Delaware. Startup lawyers often urge Delaware but this may or may not be the best choice for a founding team. Discover the other side of this argument from one who has practiced in this field extensively on behalf of founders and their startup ventures since 1984. This read might just surprise you. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of startup business law tutorials for founders.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – What is an 83(b) Election and How Does it Work in Practice?
    May 16, 2009 01:54:07 pm
    In this article, a veteran Silicon Valley startup business attorney demystifies the baffling topic of the 83(b) election and explains for founders how it works in practice for their startup business ventures. The author has worked extensively with startups since 1984 and has often had to take technical tax subjects and make them understandable to founders. If you are working with a startup, you need to understand this important, if technical, topic to handle your setup properly. This article will explain it to you in a way that you have never seen before. Part of the author’s Startup Law 101 Series of tutorials for founders.
  • Startup Law 101 Series – Distinctive Legal Aspects of Forming a Startup Business With a Founder Team
    May 16, 2009 02:15:03 pm
    A startup with a founding team requires a special kind of company formation that differs from that used by a conventional small business in several key ways. This article alerts founders to those differences so that they can avoid mistakes in doing their setup.
  • Small Business Sales – Legal Factors to Consider in Selling Or Buying a Small Business
    May 08, 2009 07:44:36 pm
    In this article, a veteran Silicon Valley lawyer distills for entrepreneurs the ins and outs of a small business sale. Learn what to look for legally in buying or selling a small business. Get the roadmap on the sales process overview so you can use your lawyer’s time more effectively — whether as a buyer or seller, you will learn the right questions to ask, and some important traps to avoid, from this helpful overview. Written by a startup business lawyer specialist who has done countless such deals since 1984, large and small.

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