The Single Worst Reason for Choosing a Startup Lawyer

If you were getting a divorce, would you ask your soon-to-be-ex-spouse for a divorce lawyer referral? No, you wouldn’t, because that would be so obviously stupid that no rational person would ever consider such an idea. Your soon-to-be-ex-spouse would be the last person you would want to help you in that scenario. Then why would … Read More

Summary of Colorado Blue Sky Laws

Summary of Colorado Blue Sky Laws (Updated)

I’ve found that while entrepreneurs have an excellent sense of the law when it comes to term sheets and venture deals, they have a much more limited understanding of securities laws. What’s worse, many lawyers I’ve talked to aren’t aware of the details of Colorado’s securities laws, either. Most competent attorneys know about the basics … Read More

Accredited Investors & Sophisticated Investors: How Your Investors Affect (the Cost and Risks of) Your Capital Raise

How Your Investors Affect (the Cost and Risks of) Your Capital Raise

The type of investors you have drastically changes what you need to do to raise capital, the risks your company will incur, and how much it all costs. Understanding the difference will save you money and a lot of wasted energy. This effect is so drastic that—depending on the amount collected from an unsophisticated, or … Read More

When to Use a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for Your Startup

When to Use a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for Your Startup

I once heard a mentor at an accelerator say, “NDAs are worthless and if you see a founder trying to get someone to sign an NDA, it’s a clear signal that they’re a startup amateur. Ideas are worthless. I should be able to tell everyone in the world my idea, and if someone beats me … Read More

Splitting Equity

How to Split Equity in Your Startup (updated)

Most startup founders have a pretty basic understanding of how to split equity in their startup. “I want to split equity 70-30” or “I want to split it 50-50.” That’s an okay starting point, but it doesn’t get you all the way there. To get it right, you need to understand the little nuances. And … Read More

Seven Rookie Mistakes Startups Make When Raising Money

1) Working with the Wrong Kind of Investors There’s a saying in the startup world: “the first money that goes in determines how much money, if any money at all, comes in after.” Regular startup investors are an incestuous lot, and they’re usually a pretty sophisticated group, too. If you look at the resumes of superstar … Read More

friends and family

21 Ways to Raise Money for Your Business

Too often, startups lock themselves into thinking that there are only a few ways to raise capital. But that’s not true. There are plenty of different ways to raise money if your business if promising and if you’re creative. VCs and angel investors might have certain vehicles they return to repeatedly, but there’s no reason … Read More

Why Hiring a Good Startup Lawyer is About More Than Just Documents

When you’re a startup lawyer, part of your job is to serve as a document merchant. It’s part of the job, but it’s probably my least favorite part of the job. I love learning from startups. I love working with startups. Working with growing startups to make them better — that’s just what we do. Providing high-quality documents … Read More

Startup Checklist

The Ultimate Startup Checklist

By combing the Interwebs, poring through my personal library, and applying my own experience in working with more than 100 startups, I’ve compiled this checklist of 25 items to review and consider as you launch your startup. I hope you find it useful. Decide whether starting a business is right for you and what kind … Read More

When Is a Pitch a General Solicitation?

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a meetup at Galvanize with a number of other attorneys (signup info for the meetup can be found here). The subject of the meetup was legal issues for crowdfunding and fundraising. We provided background on the new SEC rules for crowdfunding and discussed the ways in which we … Read More