A substantial focus of Smith Hurst is the representation and counseling of entrepreneurs. As a result of this focus, our lawyers have provided legal counsel to hundreds of entrepreneurs starting new businesses.
We have first hand, in-depth and sophisticated legal and practical knowledge and experience in forming companies and related choice of entity considerations, equity structures, negotiations with investors and lenders, intellectual property rights, real estate matters, executive compensation, protection of confidential and proprietary information and contractual relations with third parties such as vendors, customers and consultants. We take an interdisciplinary approach to counseling entrepreneurs and young, start up and emerging companies, offering particular counsel and experience in such areas as:
- Corporate Finance
- Corporate Law and Governance
- Debt Financings and Structuring
- Employee Benefits and Compensation
- Employment Law
- Intellectual Property
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Real Estate
- Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility
- Venture Capital
Our interdisciplinary approach coupled with our breadth and depth of the practice of entrepreneurial services, allows us to serve as a strategic adviser and counselor through each stage of a private company’s growth.
Our Entrepreneurial Services practice brings a no-nonsense, reality-based focus to the legal needs of entrepreneurs and emerging companies. We represent start-ups in every stage of evolution, from the moment an idea takes shape to late-stage venture-backed enterprises. We are known to share the goals and vision of our clients and work with them every step of the way, turning our clients’ passion and creativity into business reality.
Among the many services customized for early-stage companies, we provide:
- Advice on business plans, to ensure overall soundness of the business model from a legal perspective.
- Entity structuring, including partnership, joint venture, buy-sell and shareholder agreements.
- Creating proposals aimed at securing capital from banks, “angel” investors, venture capital firms, private equity and other financial sources.
- Handling all aspects of employment law, ensuring that labor practices and handbooks meet regulatory requirements while maintaining control over inventions, intellectual property and confidential information.
- Guidance on licensing and protection of intellectual property, creative innovations, software, trademarks, copyrights and patents.
- Negotiation of equipment leasing and real estate transactions.
- Negotiating mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and strategic partnerships.
- Representation on all commercial, individual and employee-related litigation.
- Handling of tax transactions and litigation.
- Establishment of an asset protection plan, including trusts, estate planning, and intergenerational wealth transfers.
- Serving as general counsel and advisor at board and management meetings.