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Oversubscribed: 3 Legal Tips for Startups Looking for Funding in Q1

Laurel Mintz, GP 

January is not a great month for fundraising, but it is a great month for setting some of the foundational pieces for a brand. You should really as a founder, spend some time getting all your affairs in order. Hopefully you spent some time doing that in December, which also is not a great month for fundraising. But January, you wanna make sure that everything is buttoned up, all your Ts are crossed and your I's are dotted and here's a couple of things that you should be thinking about doing in January if you're just starting to get into fundraising mode:

1) Make sure you are legally filed as a business entity. So make sure that you are set up to take on investment. That means making sure that you are either an LLC or a corporation filing your articles of incorporation and getting your business licenses in whatever state you are licensed to practice business within.

2. Make sure you've got all of your investment contracts in order that means externally, of course, going after investors like me and also internally making sure that you have all your NDAS, all of your internal contracts, employee documents, etc... Everything should be polished specifically as it relates to investors. Of course, you wanna get your shareholder agreements in place, your investor agreements and your all your constitutional documents, like everything that is how you run your business and how you would take on investors, your cap table, make sure it's cleaned up, make sure everything is in order to take on new investors.

3. The third one is protecting your IP. So again, this is me having my lawyer hat on, make sure that you have copyright protection. If it's something that's creatively focused, especially if it's something that's patentable, like some of our clients or some of our port codes have make sure that you are your patents are pending and that you're in process on those because they take forever. And then of course, most significantly, I would say making sure you're true marks are in order. So that's brand name,, tag lines, logos, things like that. Those are usually the easier ones to get, but they do also take a significant amount of time. I would say the most important piece if you have a patentable product is just making sure that the patent is in process.

So those are the three things that you can do in January to start the ball rolling and make sure you have everything in order for your fundraising efforts for 2024.