Smith Moore Leatherwood's Emerging Companies practice group is focused on representing entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other emerging companies from formation, through growth, and ultimately through an exit event or succession plan. We take pride in our business knowledge and understanding of the unique issues faced by early and growth-stage companies, and our attorneys provide practical and economical legal advice that allows our clients to maximize their limited resources. We believe our services should add value to your business, not detract from it.
We advise start-up and early stage companies through every stage of their evolution and on a full spectrum of legal issues. Our attorneys provide these companies with an affordable legal foundation needed to raise capital, protect intellectual property, contract with customers, and manage employees. Many of our clients look to us as both general business counsel for common legal issues and as special counsel for sophisticated transactions.
Our firm's size and style are uniquely suited to assisting young companies in the Southeast as they expand and grow. The location of our offices enables us to provide legal solutions to businesses in many of the hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. To aid in the success of our clients' businesses, we are able to offer fixed-fee legal services and other cost-effective solutions for some of the most common legal needs of emerging companies.
We have represented start-ups and emerging companies in a variety of industries, including technology, automotive, aviation, energy, logistics, and health care, to name a few. Our services to emerging company clients include:
- Formation and structuring of corporations and limited liability companies
- Structuring and negotiating debt and equity financing, including seed capital, crowdfunding, angel investments, venture capital, bank loans, asset-based and cash flow financing, and other capital raising activities
- Assessing and protecting your intellectual property rights through patents, trademarks, licensing and other protections
- Preparing and negotiating the commercial agreements needed to bring your product to market, including manufacturing agreements, sales and distribution agreements, and customer and vendor agreements
- Establishing employment and consulting agreements, including non-competition, confidentiality, and assignment of inventions, and developing stock option and other equity incentive plans for key employees
- Advising clients through growth opportunities such as joint ventures, strategic alliances, and merger and acquisition transactions
- Accomplishing a successful exit strategy through a sale transaction, initial public offering, or other liquidity event