Structuring Startups 

Founders' Agreements and Equity Splits

We look at the key issues that should be discussed at length by founders and then codified in the founders' agreement. This covers a lot of pitfalls that appear later but must be dealt with right away.

Choosing a Startup Name: Balancing Complexity and Protection

A guide to choosing a name for your startup and thinking about how to prevent others from using it without your permission.

Features of the Delaware C Corporation

A look at what makes C Corporations incorporated in Delaware such a popular choice for businesses of all sizes, especially those looking for fast growth and external equity investment.

Incorporating a Delaware C Corporation

We look at the legal requirements for incorporating a corporation in Delaware. Also discussed are some optional provisions that can be included in the certificate of incorporation.

Post-Incorporation Actions for Startups: A Checklist

This checklist will guide you through the initial actions that must be taken by the incorporators and the first directors of the corporation immediately after incorporation.

A Startup Founder's Guide to Bylaws

Bylaws establish the internal rules that govern how your company operates. This article demystifies bylaws, providing practical guidance for their creation and use.

Understanding the 83(b) Election: Minimizing Tax on Equity Compensation

A breakdown of the 83(b) election and how it works. I discuss why and when it should be used and the associated conditions.

Leveraging Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) for Tax-Advantaged Exits in Startup Ventures

Understanding and strategically leveraging QSBS can significantly reduce your tax liability and maximize your return on investment.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Protecting Your Brand: A Guide to Trademarks

By understanding trademarks and using them strategically, you can safeguard your brand and build a valuable asset for your business or startup. This article provides a good primer.

Copyright Protection for Data and Databases

How does copyright law apply to data in general and databases in particular? I explain the criteria for copyrighting data, the forms of authorship recognized in data compilations and much more.

Fair Use Exception to Copyright Protection

I explain the concept of fair use, the factors that determine whether a use is fair or not, and give lots of examples of fair use vs. copyright violations in different contexts.

Leveraging Open Source Code in Your Software: A Guide to Managing Legal Risks

Understand and manage the licenses governing open source code and libraries used in your company's software.

A Primer on US Patents

A short 5 minute read that explains the basics of patents and patent protection in the United States. 

Provisional Patents: Uses and Limitations

Provisional patents are widely misunderstood and overestimated. I explain their limitations and outline the circumstances in which they can be used to achieve strategic goals. 

A Guide to Trade Secrets

This guide unpacks the essentials of trade secrets, empowering startup founders and tech executives to leverage them effectively.

Data Licensing and Data Markets

Licensing Data for a Competitive Advantage

Licensing data from external sources can transform decision-making and enhance innovation. Also consider licensing out internally generated data to create a new source of revenue.

Key Terms of a Data License Agreement

What are the most important issues that need to be considered and negotiated when striking data licensing deals. This is a good place to start if you are planning one or looking to understand its parts.

Data Licensing Cheat Sheet

A series of step-by-step pointers for evaluating and negotiating a successful data license agreement. I look beyond the contract itself and also address longer term issues like implementation.

Operating Your Business

The Building Blocks of Good Contracts

While they may seem complex, contracts follow a logical structure with key elements you can understand with time. In this post, I break down the essential building blocks of a well-drafted contract.

Buying and Selling Businesses (M&A)

Step-by-Step Process for Buying a Business

This article maps the entire process of buying a business. It shows all the steps — starting with the first meeting between the buyer and the seller and ending with the post-closing actions.