Emerging Companies

  • Holland & Knight provides emerging companies with advice on entity structuring, tax planning, corporate governance and financing, protecting and commercializing intellectual property, and a full range of other legal needs.
  • We know that company formation, financing and all the work that goes into setting up a new business are time sensitive. Our collaborative work model is built to help clients achieve their business goals with speed and efficiency.
  • Our startup clients benefit from the knowledge we have gained from representing venture capital firms and other investors, as well as corporate strategic and private equity acquirers, all of which gives us insight into the process of assisting clients with raising capital, scaling the business and positioning the company for a successful exit event.
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Overview

Holland & Knight lawyers have helped form, fund and grow hundreds of emerging companies. We have the business acumen, legal experience and financial relationships to guide new companies of all types and sizes – from startup to maturity – by offering a cross section of experience across all industry segments. Our attorneys offer value-based relationships built on a thorough understanding of our clients' industries, their business goals and the marketplace.

With Holland & Knight's Emerging Companies Team on your side, you can focus on growing your business. We'll keep you informed on all the legal issues that affect you, including compensation strategies, tax planning, protection of intellectual property, employment law and regulatory developments. We pride ourselves on knowing our clients' businesses and helping them anticipate small problems before they become larger concerns.

As your company grows, Holland & Knight will be there for you with other legal services, including licensing agreements, contracts with customers and vendors, accessing investment capital and preparing for an acquisition or IPO. You will be able to rely on Holland & Knight throughout the life cycle of your business.

Company Formation

Choice of business entity has long-range implications for any emerging company, and we counsel founders on the options that align with their goals. This includes tax planning, family and succession considerations, attracting new rounds of capital and exit strategies. The right choice of entity sets up a business for long-term success and anticipates how the goals of the business and founders may change in the years ahead.

Financing Your Business

Holland & Knight's Emerging Companies Team helps entrepreneurs choose the most advantageous capital structure for their businesses and assists in identifying funding opportunities. Once a strategy is in place, we will help you locate and screen potential investors and work with you to develop relationships with angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity funds, strategic investors and partners, and others.

We then will help you structure and secure financing for your startup, including:

  • angel and seed-round financings
  • early, mid- and later stage venture capital
  • asset-based and cash flow financing
  • bridge loans and other convertible debt issuances
  • private investments in public equity (PIPEs)
  • public offerings

Growing Your Business

One of the keys to growing a successful business is having service providers with aligned mutual interests – people who understand you and your business goals.

Whether it's analyzing the viability of your business plan and strategy or pursuing a future option of taking your company public, our attorneys will work with you through the entire life cycle of your business, offering strategic, timely advice at every stage to help you understand issues, and identify both opportunities and risks. Additionally, we'll give you comprehensive guidance on transactional and operational needs, including:

  • developing corporate governance policies
  • setting up a board of directors
  • developing compensation strategies
  • addressing employee and independent contractor issues, such as hiring, preparing employment contracts and handbooks, and structuring independent contractor agreements
  • identifying and securing intellectual property and drafting terms of use and a privacy policy for your website, as well as advising on copyright and trademark registration, patent applications, trade secret protection and licensing
  • preparing and reviewing customer and vendor agreements and contracts
  • structuring strategic alliances, joint ventures, co-development agreements and partnerships
  • establishing data privacy and security policies and practices
  • developing succession planning and exit strategies

Intellectual Property Strategy

It is vital for startups to take appropriate steps to protect their intellectual property. Our lawyers counsel companies in asserting their rights in copyrights, trademarks and business processes, as well as protecting trade secrets.

For almost every industry, we have attorneys who have deep experience – and often advanced degrees – in the technology, science or engineering processes that underlie the business. We file patents, guide clients through technology transfer and sharing agreements and, if necessary, assert our clients' the rights in litigation, including matters that come before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other tribunals.

Tax Planning

Tax considerations are a critical factor for emerging growth companies in every stage of business development. Working collaboratively with the attorneys in our Taxation and Tax Controversy and Litigation practices, we help clients navigate tax issues and enforcement actions. Along with our Private Wealth Services Group, we can work with you to structure your tax obligations to align with wealth preservation and succession planning strategies.

A Trusted Partner for Success

Our lawyers are invested in the success of startup company clients. Many such clients eventually have gone pubic, been acquired by major investors, or achieved growth and success with their original private owners.

Clients find that Holland & Knight is responsive, provides continuing legal guidance throughout the life cycle of a business in almost every area of the law, and works with speed and efficiency, all with the goal of helping you place your business on the road to success.

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