Our Practice Groups

Emerging Companies

At Morrison Cohen, we understand that entrepreneurs and growth-stage companies need more than just a legal service provider—they need advisors and counselors who know the ropes and can guide them through key decisions.

Morrison Cohen has a dynamic practice representing entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in all stages of development, from start-ups to late-stage venture backed companies. At Morrison Cohen, we understand that entrepreneurs and growth-stage companies need advisors who can help them make decisions regarding matters such as formation, employment arrangements and equity incentives, financing transactions, interested party transactions, strategic partnerships and joint ventures, intellectual property protection, and corporate governance. Our attorneys are deeply experienced in these areas and many attorneys at Morrison Cohen have themselves served as general counsels or in other in-house legal or business positions that give them the business-oriented approach to practice that emerging companies require. 

In every instance, we understand that our goals and the goals of our client are aligned: to work together in an efficient and cost-effective manner so that our client can grow into a successful enterprise and, in turn, avail itself of the full resources of our Firm. We also understand the importance of networking, and we often assist our clients with introductions to investors, lenders, and potential strategic partners.

We use a cross-disciplinary approach throughout a company’s life cycle to assure that our emerging company clients have all of their needs fully met. Examples of the work we do include:

  • Reviewing business plans to help position companies for financing
  • Advising and assisting in legal formation, including choice of entity, founder arrangements, qualifications to do business, and other start-up checklist items
  • Structuring stock option, restricted stock, and other equity incentive programs
  • 409A analysis and compliance
  • Developing and negotiating term sheets and financing documents for friends and family, angel, venture capital, and private equity financing rounds
  • Advising with regard to fiduciary duties, corporate governance, and compliance with law in regard to interested party transactions, down rounds, and other complex equity financing issues
  • Negotiating debt financings such as working capital lines of credit, term loans, and equipment lease financings
  • Structuring and developing employment agreements, offer letters, and confidentiality, non-compete, and invention assignment agreements
  • Developing employee handbooks, policies, and compliance with employment laws
  • Intellectual property protection of software, trademarks, copyrights, and other IP
  • Developing and negotiating licensing agreements, software development agreements, distribution agreements, and other commercial agreements
  • Assisting in structuring and developing joint venture and strategic partnering agreements
  • Reviewing and negotiating real property leases
  • Employee termination, severance, and litigation matters
  • Assisting in establishing foreign operations, such as software development subsidiaries in Asia and Europe, and assisting in cross-border commercial and strategic agreements
  • Corporate and tax structuring of domestic and foreign acquisitions and negotiating definitive documentation
  • Attending board meetings and advising on corporate governance matters
  • Serving as outside general counsel and advisor to management and boards of directors
  • Negotiating engagement letters with investment banks
  • Serving as legal counsel in initial public offerings and M&A liquidity transactions

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