My very first client was a start-up. That was back in 2002, before start-ups were a "thing" in St. Louis. Since then, I've worked with hundreds of start-ups and early stage companies to form an entity, scale their company, and successfully exit. About four years ago, it became clear to me that start-ups and early stage companies all needed the same thing - A solid legal foundation. To build that, most need:
- Organizational documents that are robust, so they could grow into them without having to pay for multiple versions as they scale;
- Agreements with employees, independent contractors, customers and vendors that protect their disruptive, new and unique product or service and help maintain their competitive advantage;
- Agreements that allow companies to sell their new and unique product or service to customers;
- Intellectual property protection for both trademarks and newly developed assets; and
- Most importantly, certainty and transparency in the legal process, to avoid that black box/blank check feeling, which is crucial to companies working within a tight budget/defined runway.
That led the attorneys at Stock Legal to create a fixed fee model for our start-ups and early stage companies. We found that a fixed fee model resonates strongly with our clients, so we went on to build an estate planning department that creates estate plans for a fixed fee.
Today, we are launching a new blog series, Building a Solid Legal Foundation, to dive deeper into our fixed fee services for start-ups and early stage companies. We are going to explore what it means to have robust organizational documents, how our organizational documents allow companies to incentive employees and service providers with equity, the basic protections that are important in agreements with employees and independent contractors, and the key provisions in agreements that allow companies to contract with their customers.
I hope you find these posts informative. Our goal at Stock Legal is to empower our clients with information so that they can make an informed business decision. I would love your feedback and questions in the comments. We look forward to continuing this conversation with you both online and in our office.