There's a reason it's called a "startup" and not a "wait and see." You've got your vision and you want to take it to market as soon as possible. But before you launch, there may be one or two legal considerations to take into account.
So if you're looking to launch the next unicorn, here are some tips to get your ducks in a row first:
We get it -- you want to strike while the iron is hot. But rushing to launch your startup could have you striking out instead. Before you open your doors, make sure you've taken care of any liability and compliance issues, and make sure your startup is set up for success by choosing the right corporate structure.
Thought prenups were just for rich couples worried about failed marriages? It turns out that scorned business partners can be just as furious. Clear agreements acknowledging who is putting what time and money into the startup, and how equity and profits will be turned out, will come in handy in case of a business breakup.
If you came up with your billion-dollar idea while working on someone else's dime, you might have some concerns about whether you can take that idea with you on your way out the door. You'll want to read any non-compete clauses in your employment contract and any signed non-disclosure agreements prior to launch and make sure your new startup isn't trading in on your old job's trade secrets.
There's a bit more to the success of a startup than supply and demand. There are operating agreements, articles of incorporation, IP assignment agreements, non-disclosures, and stock purchase agreements that can make or break your business.
Your nascent business may not need a gaggle of in-house attorneys just yet, but some legal counsel couldn't hurt. Find out why.
- Find Business & Commercial Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
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- What's the Opposite of a Unicorn? Tales From a Nightmare Startup (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)