What is a provisional patent application? A provisional patent application (“provisional application”) is a document that is filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to establish an invention’s “priority date” – that is, to show that an applicant adequately possessed the invention described in the provisional application as of the provisional application’s… Read more »

Your time is limited.  You are investing it where it counts: in creating your revolutionary product or service, forging essential business relationships and hiring key talent.  Why press “pause” to implement employment policies when you’re not even sure you need them yet? You’re right to question whether and when to implement employment policies for your… Read more »

When you terminate employment or an employee quits voluntarily, here is what you must provide to the exiting employee: Final paycheck (including all accrued but unpaid wages) include all accrued but unused vacation time or paid time off if required by state law or by policy include unpaid but earned bonuses deadline—state law will dictate whether… Read more »

UK review by Chris Coulter Many startup companies rely in their early stages on advisors to assist with strategy, fundraising, introductions, technology and other areas.  Generally, advisors in startup companies receive their compensation in the form of equity (stock options) rather than cash.  Where an advisor is providing real services for compensation, companies should memorialize… Read more »

One of the best ways to assure your investors that your company is operating effectively is to have good governance practices in place.  A well-functioning Board of Directors having regular meetings is a great way to keep your key investors informed and engaged, and is a critical component of sound corporate governance.  Here are some tips… Read more »

A corporation is created by filing the Articles of Incorporation (if the corporation is created under California law) or the Certificate of Incorporation (if the corporation is created under Delaware law, which is the most common), or a similar document in other states, which might have a different name under those states (referred to as… Read more »

What Is Founder’s Stock? “Founder’s Stock” refers to the equity interest that is issued to Founders (and perhaps others – also check out my article Who is a “Founder”?) at or near the time the company is formed.  It is often issued for a nominal cash payment (such as $0.0001 per share, which is the default value in…

UK review by David Bresnick “Friends and family” financings: tapping your personal network Entrepreneurs often need only modest amounts of capital in the early stages to cover expenses incidental to the business. Sometimes entrepreneurs cover the company’s early expenses through personal savings or even credit card debt. However, in many cases they turn to people… Read more »

The pace of technological change and fierce competition have increased the value of intellectual property (IP) dramatically.  For example, the Google trademark has been estimated to be worth $93.3 billion dollars (source). You can use intellectual property rights (IPR), in the form of trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks, to attract investors, increase your market… Read more »