What does a startup lawyer do?

Usually when we hear the word startup, we think of a scalable business. A business that intends to grow bigger than just us, the founder. But whilst some startups get off the ground and expand quickly, others may take years. Of course, startups sit in uncertainty. There are no guarantees. There are no short cuts. And chance and timing can play a big part. You may have come up with a novel idea, or a new solution to a problem, but unless you can get the product to market successfully, it may fail.

Founders are dreamers, lawyers will keep you grounded

Founders are big dreamers, but it is important to stay grounded. To help you, it is wise to have a mentor, and professional team you can trust. No matter what the idea, and no matter how fast you want to grow, a professional team on your side can ensure a degree of certainty and control in an otherwise very uncertain environment. Mentors will guide you and impart entrepreneurial skills and professional expertise. Financial advisors can assist with financial planning, and lawyers can ensure your ideas are protected and you are complying with the law. Whilst you are dreaming of massive success, a startup lawyer will help you think of things that could go wrong and look at ways to avoid those problems occurring. Since many of the decisions you have to make early on are high impact and high level, having professionals by your side is invaluable.

A startup lawyer has broad experience

Since a startup lawyer’s job can be broad, they are likely to also have broad legal experience. Most startup lawyers have some experience in intellectual property, commercial law, corporate law and employment.

When you actually start your business a startup lawyer may help by creating legally binding documents that ensure any IP is owned by you. Without ownership of the IP, you are setting yourself up to fail. For example, where you outsource the development of an app, you will want to ensure that you own the copyright in the code, and are able to further develop it at your discretion, otherwise third parties will be able to use it for their own benefit.

When you bring in other people, a startup up lawyer may help you by ensuring the relationship between you and other founders, advisors or investors is properly documented and clear so as to avoid any future disputes or misunderstandings. This could involve setting up a business structure, and drafting a founders, partnership or a shareholders agreement. They may also draft employee agreements with share options, which can help incentivise employees in the early days.

Igniting entrepreneurial women

After the fallout of COVID-19, we are seeing a massive transformation in the business space, as any business relying on physical space had to adapt. Here at The Mumpreneur Lawyer, we have seen it ignite an entrepreneurial spirit in many women, and seen an increase in lady startups. Focusing on new opportunities, and the ability to adapt is vital in the world we find ourselves in now, where change is the only constant.

Choosing your startup lawyer is important. You need someone you can trust, and someone who understands you and your business. It is usually best to have a lawyer who is more generalised than a specialist in the early days. This is because they may have to do your business structuring, contracts, leases and intellectual property. Data protection is also becoming more and more important.  

Balancing risk with reward

One of the best things a startup lawyer can do for you is be a sounding board and balancer of legal risk with commercial reward. Whilst you are dreaming of novel ideas, and solutions, and planning for massive success, a lawyer can keep you grounded. They will help you think about the things that could go wrong with the startup and ways to avoid those problems occurring. They will also be highly conscious of your capital, and spend and help you work with what you have.

We work with many lady startups with different ideas, and different plans of growth. We love hearing about new ideas, and would love to hear about yours too. Feel free to book in for a free consultation here.

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