Start up businesses have a lot to learn about the business policies and tactics, laws and formalities, market and demand and lots more. However, if there is a question of any merger or acquisition, then there is more to learn and be careful about. In such situations, it is best to take legal help and have all corners protected and covered through their experience and expertise. Sifting through a large number of such lawyers and finding the most suitable one may be a bit confusing and at times overwhelming to you. However, if you know the right process to go about, then the task will be simplified considerably.
Know the areas of practice and knowledge
The Mergers and acquisitions lawyers are specialized in company-related matters and more specifically into understanding, negotiating and drafting contracts for acquisitions and mergers. The area of practice is vast and varied and requires a lot of knowledge and education regarding business and finance management, the laws related to merger and acquisition, venture capital and private equity. It is also required to know a lot about commercial transactions and state laws that govern such transaction, especially if there are any business houses or branches overseas. The lawyers will also need to have enough knowledge about the different business sectors such as software, construction, web-based business, life sciences, government contractors and information technology.
The ‘fit’ factor
This is a very important factor to know when you choose a lawyer. This will ensure that you have a better attorney-client relationship. Therefore, first and foremost you must look how far you can trust and get along with the lawyer. If you only have a compatible relationship, you will enjoy working with the lawyer. Therefore, look for the level of interest of the lawyer in you as well as your business and how well the lawyer can relate to you. The lawyer should also be competent, experienced and responsive according to the type of company to adapt to the varied requirements.
Need for a lawyer
There are a few situations that you will need a merger and acquisition lawyer for sure and for all others you are recommended to hire their service to be on the safe side. You will essentially need a lawyer when you have to deal with the government so that you do not violate laws for doing business or incur an unnecessary tax liability. You will also need a lawyer to deal with public or third parties to avoid or control risk in interactions. Most importantly, when a number of people form a company together, you will need a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and expectations fulfilled in case of any disagreements. You will also need a lawyer’s help while hiring employees, raising capital or obtaining patents.
The cost factor
Since you are into business and it means money, the cost factor is something that will surely come to your mind naturally. Know about how the mergers and acquisitions lawyers bill their time for such Startup legal services. Mostly, these lawyers will charge you in an hourly basis, and the rate may vary according to the experience and reputation of the lawyers. If you are considering hiring a lawyer from a legal firm, then such rate may vary from one firm to another. The range of hourly charge can be huge and most large legal firms may bill you in increments of six minutes even. However, the rate of such charge may also vary according to the location.
Hiring a legal firm
Consider the bells and whistles when you hire a legal firm. A junior lawyer from a small firm operating in a small city will cost you a lot less than a senior lawyer from a big firm in a major city. Assuming that you want to have a mix of lawyers then the hourly fees of a senior lawyer can be as high as three times that of a junior lawyer of the same firm. However, if your case is complicated and daunting, then a senior lawyer will be able to complete it in half the time as compared to a first-year lawyer. This means you will save a lot of money as fees in the process along with an assurance of the best job.
The complexity in your case
The lawyers will consider the complexities in your case while billing you for their services. These factors include the number of founders of the company, the clauses to be included in the final contract, chances, and difficulties of inclusion of such clauses, whether it is a corporation or LLC, the stocks and shares, different options plans and the way these can be handled and much more. However, if you chance to hire a reliable and reputable company, your final bill for their service may be discounted, but that entirely depends on the discretion and business policy of the m&a law firms.
Know what you need
You must know the importance of hiring a merger and acquisition lawyer. It might seem that their job is to help you out through the complex legal formalities of acquisition and help you prepare the required and relevant documents at the incorporation stage. In fact, there is more to it. They will help you to figure out what exactly you need from such acquisitions, whether a vesting schedule will be more effective or whether you will be comfortable with an LLC or a corporation. They will consider the specific situations both current and future and determine what is most appropriate for you and your business.
The legal priorities
Lastly, you should know about the legal priorities that you should focus on during the process. The lawyer will help you a great deal in these and also in matters like establishing business entity, protect you from business liabilities, establishing ownership and equity rights, ensuring the intellectual property of the business is protected and make sure all tax consequences are covered and are kept at bay to avoid legal obligation now or in the future.