How it Works
N. Mauricio Reznik
Michael P. Martin
San Diego Startup Lawyers
Why Hire a Startup Lawyer?
Starting a new business in San Diego, California, is complex and requires many different tasks. You'll have to decide how to incorporate, follow legal requirements when hiring employees, and understand the legal regulations around raising money and/or working with a venture capital firm. Working with a startup lawyer can help reduce the stress on startup business owners.
Hiring a startup lawyer might seem like it's too expensive, but working with one can prevent a number of legal issues. Fighting against a lawsuit in court can cost thousands of dollars. You also need to make sure that your company is in compliance with governmental regulations, both on a federal and state level, and presents its services legally to the public.
Another major reason to hire a startup attorney is to work with other partners or members of the corporation. While you might get along well at the start, business can make it difficult to continue in a professional partnership. It's crucial to have legal agreements in place to protect the interests of the company as well as those involved when the business first starts.
Startups often rely on the services of an experienced lawyer when forming a business entity, deciding whether to incorporate, hiring staff members, negotiating contracts with suppliers and customers, obtaining patents and/or trademarks (if needed), and raising capital. The laws in California are different from those in other states, so choosing a lawyer who has experience with startups in the state is important.
Startup owners have options when it comes to hiring an attorney. The real value of legal counsel comes as you determine what your company needs and how to go about filing documents, completing paperwork, and obtaining any legal protection on products, designs, or other intellectual property. Startups must also make sure to follow all tax laws when obtaining capital from investors.
How to Find the Best Startup Lawyer
While there are a number of good lawyers in San Diego, not all of them have the experience and understanding of the unique needs of startup business owners. When seeking the top startup attorney, business owners should look for one that has strong knowledge of contracts, intellectual property, employment and tax laws, and corporate law.
Make sure that the attorney you choose is responsive and reachable. Many startups encounter urgent concerns and problems, and they will need help quickly. Waiting for several days to hear back from a lawyer defeats the purpose of hiring one. You can get an idea of how responsive the lawyer is when first scheduling a meeting. If you don't hear back with availability within the same day, you may want to consider working with someone else, unless he or she is out of the office for any reason.
A business owner will work closely with the startup attorney on a variety of tasks, so it's important to feel comfortable on a personal level. A personality fit is crucial to establishing that connection. If you don't feel comfortable, it's best to find a different attorney.
Finding the best startup attorney also comes down to your expectations and approach to risk. If you focus more on the benefits that come with taking more risks, it may not work well to have an extremely cautious lawyer. But having someone who understands those risks and can help you make informed business decisions that work for the company is important.
During your initial consultation, talk to the attorneys you meet about resources they have available. If they have a lot of experience in the industry in which your company operates, they may have good contacts to help grow your business and achieve success. Experienced lawyers tend to know a lot of people, which is helpful as your startup expands.
Questions for a Startup Lawyer
- Do you have experience working with startups?
- In what stages have the companies you've worked with been in?
- How well do you understand the industry in which my company operates?
- Will you be the attorney working with my startup, or will it be assigned to someone else in the firm?
- What is the fee structure when providing legal assistance to startups?
- How accessible are you in urgent situations?
- What is your preferred method of communication?
- What is the focus of your legal practice?
- Can you describe your past experience working with startup companies?
- How much have you dealt with technology in your practice?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you have enough time to take on a new startup client?
- Have you ever helped your clients secure funding?
- Do you have any connections to investors who might be interested in investing in my company?
As you start your new business in San Diego, consider these benefits of hiring a startup attorney and finding the right team to help your company succeed.
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