Legal issues and regulatory requirements are usually the last thing on a startup founder’s mind and certainly not the most exciting things to think about. However, engaging a startup lawyer early in the process of forming your company can save you many headaches later down the track. This is especially true considering the frequency of litigation involving startups, often relating to IP infringement.
When to look for a startup lawyer?
So, when should a startup look to hire a technology lawyer or a startup lawyer? Surprisingly, it is not when the business is already well-established and you are looking to scale and raise capital. Often the best time is when you have an idea and have generated some type of product such as software or an app. At this stage, there are many different types of intellectual property you will want to protect including trademarks, patents and copyright. IP is the most valuable asset a startup has as this is what makes your company unique so engaging a startup lawyer to protect your IP is important in case someone copies your product.
They can then help you decide on the appropriate business structure and prepare all the necessary documents such as partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, employment agreements, privacy policies and website terms and conditions, to name a few.
What to look for in a startup lawyer?
They need to have a deep understanding of the complexities of the industry a startup is operating in. A startup operating in a particular space should ask a startup lawyer they are considering hiring how many years of experience they have advising clients within that specific industry. Every industry has different rules and standards that an experienced lawyer with years of experience will have very good knowledge of. Also, founders should be sure that the startup lawyer has many years of experience in the areas of law your startup needs advice on. Startup and technology lawyers should have solid knowledge and experience in contracts, corporate law, intellectual property, data protection, and litigation.
The process of working with a startup lawyer.
They should ideally be with you from the beginning of your startup journey and guide you through the various stages of growth particularly when the startup goes through the different funding stages. During this phase of a startup’s growth, a startup lawyer can help draft and negotiate investment agreements with venture capital firms, as well as prepare and review joint venture agreements if you are thinking of working on a project with another business. If you are a software startup, a technology lawyer with experience working with startups can advise on IP issues and prepare software-related agreements as you acquire more and more customers.
Why work with Arnotts Technology Lawyers?