August 27, 2010

Legal Fees for Startups - Fixed Pricing

I've moved to fix pricing for start-ups (and fee deferrals) for formation and initial financing.  This is what I do for companies:

1.  Formation - $2,500 - which includes company formation, founders stock issuances (including founders FF Preferred stock), option plan, offer letters for early employees and advisor and consulting agreements.  

2.  Bridge Financing - $5,000-$7,500- for a convertible note financing on standard terms, which I will help the company negotiate and provide coaching around.

3.  Angel Equity Financing - $10,000-$15,000 - there is more work here than a bridge financing, with representations and warranties, board composition provisions, stock restriction agreements between the founders and the investors, management rights agreement with investors, and legal opinion provided by Orrick.  The fees will be at the higher end of this range if the angels are represented by legal counsel and depending on the number of investors to coordinate closing.

4.  Venture Financing - 1.5X investors' counsel fees.  The first thing a company should do is keep the cap on investors' counsel fees to a minimum.  The more the due diligence and comments on documents from investors' counsel the more work we will need to do as company counsel to respond.  As company counsel, we will draft documents, prepare due diligence, finalize documents, coordinate the closing process with investors, make securities filings, and manage post-closing matters.

I will defer up to $15,000 of fees until the company has raised capital.  I work with companies to determine what the capital raise will be that triggers payment of fees to help them with their cash use.  As you will see from the above schedule, $15,000 will go a long way for companies.  My view is that greater fee deferrals is usually a red herring - it could mean that the law firm is not working efficiently.  We can get a lot done for $15,000 and going forward for our clients

Posted via email from John Bautista's posterous

1 comment:

  1. Like the fundamental ideals of a great nation, church, school, or any other enduring institution, the core ideology in our visionary company is the set of precepts that define our existence. Integrity, Transparency, Efficiency combined with Top Quality Client service, Respect for our Colleagues and Professional satisfaction.

    This is who we are;
    This is what we stand for;
    This is what we are all about.

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