Startups and Lawyers

Startups need lawyers, and good ones at that. I always recommend paying a professional to help set up the company properly and to think through key issues. Yes, it is expensive, and money is tight, but when you’re successful, the amount spent will be nominal in the grand scheme of things. Now, don’t go blow all your money on a $500/hr lawyer to do everything, but do ask for a fixed fee, evaluate referrals from several different sources, and go with the lawyer or firm that you trust the most.

Unfortunately, in the Southeast anyway, there really isn’t much deferral of fees like on the West Coast where it is common to not pay the legal bill until the first round of funding. An important way to save money is to explain up front how successful the startup is going to be, ask for a fixed fee to cover everything needed to get going with an enumerated list, and then talk about the future companies that will be created as a serial entrepreneur. Lawyers want to invest in long-term, successful relationships, and entrepreneurs should sell them on just that.

4 thoughts on “Startups and Lawyers

  1. David;
    I would also argue making them do a “dog & pony” show for the business…everything is still negotiable and the legal field is feeling the effects of recession currently as well. Simply vet an attorney for standard corporate documents, but invest wisely in an IP lawyer for the very important proprietary information needing protection.
    Make sense?

  2. You and your readers should check out Ryan Roberts (http://thestartuplawyer.com/). I read his blog regularly and have sought advice from him in the past. Great guy, knowledgeable and flat out wants to do the right thing. He’s based in Southlake (Dallas-Fort Worth), TX; but that shouldn’t stop someone from seeking his advice.

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