Startup Legal Issues

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  • 1. Legal Issues for Business Start-Ups Presented by: Jim Chester JD, LL.M, CHB, CCS Chester/Associates, PLLC Dallas, Texas Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International
  • 2. Start-Up is a Vital Time to Consider Legal Issues Four Key Legal Topics to Address 1. Address Legal Restrictions/Limits 2. Select Entity Type 3. Protect Intellectual Capital 4. Develop Basic Legal Documents 2 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 3. Address Legal Restrictions/Limits Government/Regulatory - Permits - Zoning - Licenses Private - Non-compete Agreements 3 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 4. Select Entity Type Sole-Proprietorship Pros - Easy/cheap to start Tax advantages Management flexibility Cons - No limit of liability Lack of continuity/transferability Limits ability to raise capital NOTE: Must register a d/b/a (assumed name) if not using your legal name 4 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 5. Select Entity Type General Partnership Pros - Easy/cheap to start Tax advantages Management flexibility Cons - No limit of liability (for partner, too) Lack of continuity/transferability Limits ability to raise capital NOTE: Must register a d/b/a (assumed name) if not using your legal name 5 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 6. Select Entity Type Limited Liability Company Pros - Limited Liability Some tax advantages Continuity/transferability Greater ability to raise capital Management flexibility Cons - Some formality/expense required Subject to Texas Margin tax 6 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 7. Select Entity Type Corporation Pros - Limited Liability Continuity/transferability Greater ability to raise capital Cons - More formality/expense required Subject to Texas Margin tax Management flexibility more limited Tax advantages require additional filings 7 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 8. Protect Intellectual Capital Intellectual Property (IP) Includes: Trademarks / Trade Names / Trade Dress - Searches & Registration Copyrights - Searches & Registration Patents - Registration Required Trade Secrets - No Registration Required - Non-Disclosure/Non-Competes 8 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 9. Develop Basic Legal Documents Common Forms You May Need: - Purchase/Services Agreement - Terms & Conditions - Employment/IC Agreements - IP-related agreements - Employment Manual 9 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 10. Conclusion Start-ups must budget for legal expenses Failure to adequately address legal issues initially can cause significant problems later. 10 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008
  • 11. Questions? Email JFChester@TradeLawFirm.com Direct 214.800.2845 Toll Free 1.877.34.World Chester/Associates, PLLC 6060 NCX, Suite 560 Dallas, Texas 75206 www.tradelawfirm.com 11 Chester/Associates, PLLC Business - Trademark - International March 28, 2008