When I was talking to my friend Andrew about joining him to help co-found TripExpert, I was handed a big stack of legal papers to trudge through and eventually sign. As I was reading them, my eyes began to cross. I thought I understood most of it, but I had no idea whether anything in there was good or bad, or if anything should be added or removed.
I knew I needed to get some help from someone who was better versed in founders’ agreements than me. On the recommendation of a friend, I got in touch with a lawyer specializing in startups and had him take a look. With just a 30-minute phone call and a few emails back in forth, he potentially saved me thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars. And I now had full understanding of the document I was signing.
Law can be an intimidating field, and first-time entrepreneurs often have so many unanswered questions: when should you talk to a lawyer? What type of lawyer should you hire? Where can you even find a lawyer?
My guest today is Matthew Moisan of Moisan Legal. We discuss exactly what you need to know about law as you’re delving into entrepreneurship, and how to best set yourself up for success.
In just 50 minutes, he’ll raise you out of law novice-dom, and there’s honestly not a dull moment.
Here’s what we chat about:
- Exactly why lawyers’ hours are so long and tedious, especially in the first few years
- At what point in your product or app development process is it time to talk to a lawyer?
- You have a couple apps in the app store…should you form an entity?
- Where do you find a lawyer when you’re ready to form an entity, and what should you look for?
- The one difference you need to know between LLCs and Corporations
- The type of Corp that venture capitalists want to see
- Why Delaware is such a magical place for entrepreneurs
- Why you might want to get your own lawyer when co-founding a company
- How a lawyer told me about 83(b) elections and potentially saved me a ton of money
- The biggest law-related mistake that first-time entrepreneurs make
- Resources that can help you prepare for your interactions with lawyers
Links mentioned in this show include:
- TripExpert – Finally, hotel reviews you can trust
- Moisan Legal
- Move your brain online, get a bigger hard drive (Novice No Longer)
- Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business Taxes by Stephen Fishman
- FeldThoughts – Brad Feld’s blog
- AVC – Fred Wilson’s bog
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Are you thinking about forming an LLC or Corporation? Let us know in the comments below!
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The Novice No Longer Podcast intro music was composed by the talented Will Larche.
Thanks again for listening!