Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type



New business formation is a powerful economic engine that creates jobs. Diverse legal issues are encountered as a start-up entity approaches formation, initial capitalization and fundraising, arrangements with employees and independent contractors, and relationships with other third parties. The endeavors of a typical start-up in the United States will likely implicate many of the following areas of law: intellectual property; business organizations; tax laws; employment and labor laws; securities regulation; contracts and licensing agreements; commercial sales; debtor-creditor relations; real estate law; health and safety laws/codes; permits and licenses; environmental protection; industry specific regulatory laws and approval processes; tort/personal injury, products liability, and insurance laws; antitrust and other unfair competition laws; import/export laws; immigration laws; laws related to the internet, privacy and e-commerce; and possibly many other federal, state and/or local laws, and, for many businesses these days, international laws. Company founders need to develop familiarity with the effects of such laws and need to access qualified legal talent to address legal issues in the planning and implementation of their venture. This article is designed to provide entrepreneurs with an overview of several areas of law that commonly arise in for-profit start-up ventures and offer them some important tips on working with lawyers.



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