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Emerging Companies

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

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Featured Experience

Assisted private company with record sale of a domain name to a public company buyer. The domain name sold for almost $5 million, making it one of the largest domain name sales in history.


Represented a direct-to-consumer products and services company in connection with a $47 million equity investment, a $15 million secured line of credit, and an exclusive supplier agreement with a strategic partner.


Represented a provider of SaaS donor management software for non-profits in connection with a $3.5 million Series A Preferred Stock financing transaction.


Practice Overview


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. We provide value to the entrepreneur community through our Entrepreneur Minutes Video Series featuring attorneys, entrepreneurs and business leaders sharing advice on starting, growing and running a business, and also with our Cybersecurity Accelerator which facilitates the growth of domestic and international cybersecurity companies.

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.

Representative Matters
  • Represented an in-store media and marketing design and implementation company with respect to various architectural and interior design services and installation agreements for the development of consumer research centers in the United States and Shanghai, P.R. China for a large international consumer products manufacturer.

  • Represented a golf-training equipment manufacturer in the development and negotiation of multiple exclusive distribution and licensing agreements with distributors of manufacturer's products in Shenzhen, P.R. China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, the Middle East, Trinidad and Tobago and South Korea.

  • Represented a manufacturer of solar power generation equipment located in California with respect to a RFP bid process and subcontractor agreement for construction of a power generation facility in South Africa.

  • Assisted private company with record sale of a domain name to a public company buyer. The domain name sold for almost $5 million, making it one of the largest domain name sales in history.

  • Represented a health & wellness SaaS provider in connection with a $1.2 million Series A-3 Preferred financing transaction.

  • Represented a direct-to-consumer products and services company in connection with a $47 million equity investment, a $15 million secured line of credit, and an exclusive supplier agreement with a strategic partner.

  • Represented a provider of SaaS donor management software for non-profits in connection with a $3.5 million Series A Preferred Stock financing transaction.

  • Successfully defended medical diagnostic company against an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed by a minority owner and several alleged creditors. Following a three-day trial, the bankruptcy judge granted our motion to dismiss the case, finding that there were not enough eligible creditors to sustain the petition because most of the claims were subject to a "bona fide dispute as to liability or amount" within the meaning of Section 303(b) of the Bankruptcy Code. In so ruling, the judge reserved jurisdiction to hear our motion for attorneys' fees, costs, and damages against the petitioning creditors for future decision, resulting in a favorable settlement for our client.

  • Represented IT solutions provider in its purchase of a Wisconsin-based venture technologies company for $15 million in a combined private stock and cash transaction. The transaction involved refinancing with new senior debt and mezzanine financing (combined $23.9 million) with detachable warrants.

  • Represented a foundation repair company in purchasing a portion of a start up venture providing new technology to the industry.

  • Served as outside general counsel for a manufacturer of an outdoor convection smoker with specific emphasis on negotiation of supplier and distribution agreements for the manufacture and distribution of the client's products. Also represented the CEO of the company in an extensive and prolonged buyout process of other equity owners; and, in connection therewith, a receivables factoring arrangement with a private funding source. Assisted this client with the completion of an exclusive distribution and private-labeling agreement with a large outdoor grill manufacturer and celebrity endorser.
  • Formation and initial financing of, and strategic development and incentive programs for, initial financing of multiple start-up companies.

  • Formation of early-stage companies in industries including life sciences, information technology and health care.

  • Represented startup venture engaged in the production and distribution of cellulosic ethanol.

  • Corporate and board counsel for an independent oil and gas company, an emerging biotechnology firm, a medical device company and a health information technology company.

  • Corporate counsel for a large, publicly traded manufacturer, a large private distributor, a generic pharmaceutical company, a fiber optics company, and a leading emerging company in the electronic health records field.

  • U.S. legal counsel for startup operations for European manufacturers.

  • Representation of venture capital firms in connection with startup accelerators, related investment vehicles and investments in portfolio companies.

  • Assisted equipment leasing fund managed by major Australian financial institution with fund management issues and Exchange Act reporting obligations.

  • Representation of a cardiovascular health care company in connection with its offering of $40 million of debt and preferred equity to a private investment firm.

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There is almost zero technology in most law firms. Baker Donelson is truly distinguished because of their BakerManage platform. They are using technology in a way that improves the practice of law and they are able to deliver better service because of it.

General Counsel at one of the world's largest independent claims management companies

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