FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our goal is to help you make your company more investible.
-- When should I hire an attorney?
Many co-founder teams will start working together to try out a concept before they form a corporation or a limited liability company ("LLC"). Later, they may try to cut out one of the co-founders. Unfortunately, the team may not realize that they formed a legal entity as soon as they started – they may unwittingly be a general partnership. The worst part is there are no written agreements.
If you’re a startup founder, we can help you from the very beginning with actual formation of your company as a corporation or LLC. Once you’ve formed your company, we can also help at any point along the way as you are growing your business.
And when you’re ready to sell your company, we can help you on the exit side through a merger or acquisition. We can help you understand the process and guide you through challenging concepts like earnouts and indemnification. We are most helpful when we are engaged before you start the selling process, since we can help you with corporate cleanup first.
If you are looking to acquire another company, we can help with that too.
-- What services do you provide?
We specialize in helping companies with transactional needs, like contracts, selling stock, and buying businesses. We only do projects we are good at. We don’t do bankruptcy, wills, patents, etc. When we take a project, you can rest assured we feel competent to handle your matter.
We can help you form your company and make sure you’re in compliance with all the required state and federal laws.
If you have co-founders, we can help you start the relationship off on the right foot.
When your business is up and running, we can provide services like customizing consulting agreements for independent contractors, drafting advisor agreements, submitting trademark applications, preparing financing documents like notes or stock purchase agreements, ensuring compliance with securities laws, and more. We can also provide strategic guidance as you navigate through the startup world.
Making sure these seemingly small matters are in order while you’re running your company is one of the most important things that can make your company more investible in the future. By showing investors that your corporate documents and securities compliance obligations have been met, you help lower the fear factor for potential investors. This ultimately helps your company become more investible.
If you’re ready to sell your company (or buy someone else’s company), we can help with the negotiations and purchase agreement, as well as helping you get through the diligence process.
-- What are your fees?
We generally charge by the hour, but if there is a way we can offer a flat fee for our services, we will work with you to see if one is possible. Formation packages and trademark applications are usually flat fee services. We do our best to give estimates up front on how much we expect items to cost. If we approach the estimated amount and the project is not complete, we will try to give you an update so there are no surprises and work with you on a go-forward plan. Contact us to find out more about our current rates.
-- What is the engagement process?
We always like to have an initial consultation to discuss the project. For your sake, and ours, we always document what we are going to do for you in a written engagement letter. We always require an initial retainer, since sometimes companies run out of money at unexpected times.
-- Do you charge for the initial consultation?
-- Uh oh, I already formed a company online, but I’m not sure I did it right.
Don’t worry! We can help you fix it.
-- Can you give me templates so I can just fill in the information myself?
We do not provide template documents. Each document that we produce is custom tailored to our specific client for that specific purpose.
We have two primary reasons for not providing templates. First, our insurance carrier doesn’t like it. Of greater importance to you, there are just too many things that could go wrong.
Sometimes the pitfalls come in piecing together an agreement from multiple sources, grabbing a document you’ve used before and trying to re-purpose it to a new situation, or downloading a “boilerplate” agreement from the internet for free. Whatever the method, it usually ends up costing you more to have us fix your attempt at drafting than it would have been to have us draft the documents from the get-go.
Our goal is to help you in the short term with things like contracts, securities compliance, negotiations, and more, that will all ultimately make your company more investible in the future.
-- How about reviewing my version of a contract I drafted using a template I found?
We all understand the need to manage budgets. Occasionally we are asked to review a contract drafted by a client. Usually the client will have found a template online and plugged names in the document. The client’s goal here is to save on legal fees by doing the drafting themselves.
Our real value is in selecting the right starting point for an agreement and crafting it with our client’s specific transaction in mind. We don’t believe we are servicing our clients well by performing brief reviews of contracts. We prefer to provide you with a great start to your contractual relationships.
-- Where can I learn more about starting a company or selling my business?
Every quarter we teach a First Time Entrepreneur workshop through the LA Venture Association (LAVA). You will learn how to determine the value of your company, put together a capitalization table, understand how VCs screen potential investments, understand the differences between trademarks, copyrights and patents and when you need them, work with co-founders, and network at startup events -- the right way.
For anyone looking to sell their company, we also have a workshop for you! We also teach a workshop on How To Successfully Sell Your Business. This workshop breaks down the lessons that a business owner needs to learn to have a successful exit. Each portion of the workshop is geared toward explaining in simple terms what an entrepreneur needs to know about finding buyers and getting to a deal. The seminar will guide participants through challenging concepts like earnouts and indemnification in an easy-to-understand format.