Startup companies raising their early capital rounds are usually clueless as to what is entailed on the legal end of the process. As a result, they often turn to a small firm attorney who practices in a totally different area of the law and knows nothing about securities law (which governs the raising of capital) OR to a large firm attorney who is unfamiliar with startups and the challenges they face (including lack of funds). This presentation will provide a lay person’s education into what is required legally to protect startups as they endeavor to fund their early-stage operations, attract advisory board members, and first employees in return for small equity stakes and structure relationships with their co-founders. There will be plenty of time for Q&A!
Top three takeaways:
- How to hire an attorney in connection with their early-stage funding rounds from an educated perspective so as not to be taken advantage of in the process.
- Tax-saving strategies and how to use equity to incentivize as they grant equity to early-stage advisors/employees.
- Legal tripwires to avoid as a startup.
About the presenter
Leslee M. Cohen is a co-founder of the business boutique law firm, Hershman Cohen. The firm prides itself on combining big firm experience and expertise with small firm rates and relationships.
Leslee concentrates her transactional practice in securities law, corporate finance and general corporate law. She counsels a variety of entities, from small entrepreneurs and start-up companies to large established businesses, across many industries from real estate to technology in connection with private placements of both equity and debt securities, including venture capital, private equity and “friends and family” investments. Leslee also structures, negotiates and documents significant business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, joint ventures and other business combinations and financial transactions. In addition, she handles general corporate matters including commercial contract drafting and review, stockholder and limited liability company agreements and structuring, business restructurings, employment and consulting agreements, and equity incentive plans and agreements, on behalf of a diverse group of clients.
Leslee is a member of the Board of Directors and Chairperson of the Venture Pitch Committee of the Small Business Advisory Counsel. She is also a founding member and Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law and a member of the Board of Directors of Demon Angels, an angel investor group formed to invest in women and minority owned startups. In addition, Leslee regularly mentors and speaks at several incubator and accelerator programs in the Chicagoland area.
Leslee graduated with High Honors from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE) in 1989 and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1992.