Legal Services for Startups

By: Jan Roos | 0 Comments

Why Affordable Legal Services Are Key to Early Success

In the startup world, entrepreneurs are encouraged to build, measure, and learn – and do so as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Cost-effectiveness, however, is difficult to achieve when it comes to accessing the legal counseling startups need to grow from napkin-idea to profitable company. No matter the development stage, and particularly early on, exorbitant legal fees can seem daunting to any startup seeking to run as lean as possible. That’s why reduced-fee legal services are so crucial in early-stage development.

Cost-effectiveness is difficult to achieve when it comes to accessing the legal counseling startups need to grow...

One of the more valuable assets found in successful incubators and accelerators is the inclusion of legal counseling made available to those in the program. Whether it’s corporate formation, asset and equity structure or protection, contracting agreements for services, real property acquisition (for research, product development, or manufacturing), or trademark and copyright advising, your legal needs will very in type and scope, but they will invariably exist. The question then becomes how to cover the costs of these necessary services.

In 2013, Equity LLP, a San Francisco-based law firm, began offering hands-on help with legal documents and affairs for new companies and startups who didn't necessarily have the resources to hire high-fee attorneys. Equity’s model involved taking a 2% stake in each company it provided legal services to. Depending on the company, that arrangement either made lots of sense, or very little.

A number of other law firms offer deferred fee arrangements, providing early-stage legal services free of charge until the company reaches a certain revenue milestone down the road, at which time payment for the previously-provided legal services comes due. In either case, startups have the opportunity to reap the benefits of legal counsel at an early stage without a heavy financial burden. Unfortunately, firms that offer these kinds of arrangements aren't always easy to find, and often won't spend significant time with each client to help develop their business plan to create a comprehensive legal plan as opposed to one-off legal documents.

Startups have the opportunity to reap the benefits of legal counsel at an early stage without a heavy financial burden...

Ultimately, what startups and new businesses really need is counsel who is available, accountable, and affordable. This is why Norman Roos LLP offers an array of legal services and early-stage counseling at extremely competitive rates for startups and companies just getting off the ground. This way, our clients’ initial growth is strengthened by forming an early relationship with us, not impeded by it.

 

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