Title III Crowdfunding Is Here

Title III crowdfunding is here! The first funding portals can begin operations today, May 16, 2016. On Friday, I was a guest on the “This Week in Law” Podcast, where I talked about the impact this will have on startups, technology companies, and the people who invest in them. Click on the link below for my discussion.

The Founders’ Intro to Raising Startup Capital

For many startup founders, what led them into the risky but thrilling world of starting their own company was technology, innovation, the ability to affect the world, and the freedom of being their own boss. Learning the ins and outs of financing, attracting investors, and understanding how to comply with state and federal securities laws is probably not at the top of the list of a startup founder’s most favorite things. But, given that the vast majority of startups will rely on outside financing in their early years while they progress in stages of production and expansion, their founders are going to eventually need to do some real-world study in the basics of how raising capital works in order to grow their business while protecting their vision. [Read more…]

Hiring a Programmer? Get an Invention Assignment Agreement

This post first appeared in Startup Southerner on March 23, 2016.

Founders have a lot to think about when starting a new company, such as finding the right team, developing their strategy and getting the company’s legal structure in place. One item that should not be left out is ensuring the company owns the intellectual property to its content, such as software code, written works, and audio/visual material. A key part to this is to ensure that everyone—from founders to independent contractors—working on this content has signed invention assignment agreements. [Read more…]

Filing Is Not Enough: 6 Steps You Must Take to Incorporate

This post first appeared in Startup Southerner on February 1, 2016.

When it comes to incorporating a startup, founders often file articles of incorporation (a.k.a. a charter or a certificate of incorporation) with their state’s secretary of state and stop there. They think that the filing is enough to form the corporation. However, forming a corporation involves a number of additional steps, and a corporation is not validly formed unless many of these steps are performed. So, here are the most important ones. [Read more…]

Thoughts on the Apple iPhone Encryption Case

Last week, US Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to assist the FBI in unlocking an Apple iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the terrorists in December’s San Bernardino mass shooting. This story and its resulting controversies have since dominated the technology press. I’m not going to summarize the facts of this case or the various arguments regarding whether the government should be able to require Apple to do such a thing since a good summary can be found here.  I will, however, give my observations and thoughts on the matter. [Read more…]