Emerging Companies

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From idea to IPO, the Baker Donelson Emerging Companies attorneys are here to support your business.

Baker Donelson's Emerging Companies lawyers are a multidisciplinary group, focused on representing the unique interests of high-growth start-up companies and other emerging businesses. Our attorneys are proactive in understanding our clients' businesses and the communities necessary to support them. This helps us provide practical, timely legal advice to meet our clients' needs.

Emerging companies take many shapes and forms, but they all have significant legal needs that must be addressed to ensure long-term success. The Emerging Companies lawyers tailor our services to the needs of your company. In addition, we offer fixed-fee legal services and educational programs to provide affordable legal services for early-stage companies.

For instance, early-stage companies often have many important legal issues to consider but lack sufficient resources to afford legal advice under the traditional hourly-rate model. We offer the Baker Donelson Emerging Company Institute  (ECI) as a fixed-fee platform to address the most common start-up legal issues that these emerging companies face. Baker ECI's education and legal services provide companies with a solid legal foundation and empower entrepreneurs to more effectively manage legal issues throughout the life cycle of their company.

Baker Donelson lawyers partner with emerging companies through all stages of their development, providing innovative solutions for the legal and business challenges they face. Examples of the services we provide include:

  • FormationEntity formation is a crucial stage for companies, as it sets the foundation for a business' future.
    • Baker Donelson lawyers advise on business strategy and planning, assembling the founding management team, selecting and forming the appropriate business entity, and raising necessary capital from investors who can support and accelerate emerging company growth.
  • ContractsBusinesses have many contracts that need to be reviewed and managed.
    • We have deep experience advising clients on contracts outlining many types of relationships and transactions. In addition to helping businesses review and negotiate customer and vendor agreements, Baker Donelson lawyers can assist companies to prepare and manage forms for frequent interactions that are important to their business.
  • CapitalCapital is a precious resource and the lifeblood for emerging companies.
    • Every startup needs capital. We have significant experience advising clients on both debt and equity financing, including convertible notes and venture capital and angel investments.  We can advise on which options may be best for each company’s particular situation, and we can assist with planning and conducting negotiations to ensure that our clients obtain the best terms.
  • TechnologyTechnology allows emerging companies to grow and work smarter.
    • Our Firm maintains a multi-disciplinary group of lawyers to assist clients with the wide-ranging issues of business technology law. With more than 150 years of cumulative experience within the Business Technology Group, Baker Donelson draws upon all types of business transactions involving the purchase, sale and licensing of technology products and services.
  • Intellectual PropertyEmerging companies rely on the potential of their ideas, which means IP must be protected to confidently move forward.
    • Our Firm's team includes skilled patent lawyers with deep experience developing and protecting emerging clients' intellectual property rights. In addition, we work with clients to leverage their IP through licensing, development, reseller, distribution, and other strategic agreements that generate revenue streams and other business opportunities.
  • EmploymentGrowing companies need to pay special attention to supporting and providing proper incentives for employees.
    • Our Firm's team of experienced attorneys have advised many emerging businesses on issues such as preparing executive employment agreements; implementing stock option and other employee incentive plans; structuring employee benefit plans; establishing consulting or contractor agreements; and developing human resource polices and handbooks.
  • ComplianceEmerging businesses have numerous legal and regulatory compliance risks to consider.
    • Baker Donelson lawyers provide counsel regarding taxation and regulatory compliance at the local, state, federal and international levels. We also regularly assist our clients with confidentiality, HIPAA and proprietary information agreements.
  • M&AAs emerging businesses grow, many pursue deals to expand operations, acquire other companies or secure new revenue streams.
    • We have experienced corporate attorneys on our team to ensure that the deals we do for clients are not only legally and technically sound, but that they also fit with the company's strategic objectives. Our focus is always on doing the deal that helps our clients meet their goals.

The Firm's Emerging Companies lawyers are not only seasoned legal professionals, but they also possess deep experience in the industries they serve. They provide a range of legal services that focus on the strategic business goals of our clients. We work with all types of rapid-growth companies operating in a wide range of industries, including information technology, digital media, life sciences, health care, alternative energy/cleantech, telecommunications and technology-enabled services.