Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top 10 Ways To Scare Startup Lawyers (+VCs + Acquirors)

As I was preparing for my presentation for Founder Institute yesterday, I compiled this list over a few chuckles. Hope you also enjoy it :) 
  1. Do all your legal work through DIY online forms (from formation to option grants and key contracts)
  2. Get a personal injury lawyer to do your patent and trademark filings, cheaply.
  3. Don't read anything about basic startup law, especially disclosure obligations, fiduciary obligations, and stock pricing rules.
  4. Forget about IP strategy. If anyone asks about your views on trade secrets, talk about NAFTA!
  5. Ignore regulations in your industry (especially for healthcare, life sciences, financial and legal startups)
  6. Burn/shred/ignore threat letters ("nastygrams") by former employers, co-founders, contractors, users, competitors, etc.
  7. Ignore all user feedback on product, from support inquiries to social media and BBB postings
  8. Miss your 83(b) 30-day filing deadlines
  9. If your Board forgets to grant options, go back and re-do it after the fact
  10. Send an email to everyone on your contact list asking for investment in your startup

If any of the above sounds remotely like something you may have considered doing, please, please, please don't do it! You are in desperate need of immediate help, so talk to someone who knows a bit about startup law today.

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