Legal Services for Start-ups

Access experienced start-up lawyers who will provide you with commercially driven advice, helping you navigate challenges and overcome barriers to growth.

From the moment you create your MVP right through to your first funding round, few things will be more important to you than a knowledgeable and supportive start-up lawyer. Build a successful business by getting the right legal advice for your start-up in place as soon as possible.

Legal services for start-ups that support scalability

To give you the best opportunity to succeed you’ll need specific legal services for start-ups on:

We’ll provide guidance on when (or whether) to incorporate, what kind of ownership structure suits you best, and who to put onto your board of directors. We can help you by incorporating your company or registering your limited liability partnership at Companies House, drafting a tailor-made Articles of Association or partnership agreement, and preparing other necessary documents such as shareholders’ agreements.

We’ll help you clarify the relationship between co-founders and put things into formal documents so that day-to-day decision making is problem-free, and the business is an attractive investment proposition. Our start-up lawyers can help you understand how shareholdings work, the difference between your preference and your non-voting shares, and help you unpick the mysteries of complex issues like vesting schedules and classes of shares.

We can greatly improve your access to capital by making sure your company is eligible for these investment opportunities, such as schemes like the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Our start-up lawyers can re-structure your company, so it pre-qualifies for the schemes and lands appropriate investments, thanks to tax reliefs available to investors to help you scale and grow.

We can help you understand who owns your business’s property and IP, so you avoid issues in funding and distracting squabbles. Fundamental to the success of your business will be organising who owns what in terms of your company’s business property and IPR. Think about that piece of software that was developed by a freelancer, the pop-up gallery you hold on a short lease, or the customer list you brought along from your last job. Complications or disputes around IPR in things like software, trademarks or data can be damaging and disruptive, but using our specialist intellectual property lawyers can help you sort this out cleanly before it becomes as issue.

Put your relationship with staff on a proper footing and make sure they feel valuable by putting incentive schemes in place that work for you and them. Our employment solicitors can draft standard policies for you, as well as contracts of employment and service contracts for directors. We can also provide advice on pensions, minimum wage and leave entitlements, incentive arrangements and employee share option schemes.

We can advise on website issues and handle tricky questions arising from data protection and GDPR. By taking the mystery out of data protection and making sure your internet platforms and customer interface are legally complaint, your users will feel safe dealing with you. This can include our specialist data protection solicitors trouble-shooting your website and, if you don’t already have them, putting together privacy policies, website use and GDPR policies, making sure your customer email lists are bullet-proof.

Our highly-experienced corporate lawyers can advise you on seed funding, angel investment, private equity, venture capital and how funding rounds work. We can help you understand the difference between seed and venture funding, detangle the intricacies of private and venture capital, and get you up to speed on the alphabet of funding rounds from A to B and beyond.

We can help you plan potential exit strategies. We’ll advise on structuring your business with an endgame in mind and advising you on earn-outs and tax-efficient schemes like Employee Ownership Trusts. If your start-up is eyeing the potential for a floatation, our start-up solicitors can also advise on IPOs including Main Market listings and the AIM.

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.

Resolving legal issues for start-ups

Legal issues for start-ups as you launch, develop and grow are numerous and complex. Deciding to take your business to the next step by incorporating, taking on new partners or employees, or seeking further investment are key pinch-points in your founder journey.

Starting and growing a business needs careful planning to ensure that the platform of legal documents on which a company is built is solid. Our expert start-up lawyers can be your guides and mentors through the jungle of regulations that apply to business today, as well as the demands of investors as your business scales.

Who we help: From ambitious entrepreneurs to EIS investors

We have a proven track record supporting start-up businesses, but our expertise doesn’t end there. Due to our active involvement in the support networks available for start-ups, we have acted for: start-up companies, entrepreneurs, founders, boards and individual directors of early-stage companies, financial institutions, and investors considering investment under the EIS and SEIS schemes.

Why choose our start-up solicitors?

Harper James Solicitors are business and finance law specialists, with expertise in start-ups. Our start-up solicitors have the legal skills and experience to help founders who want to get things right from day one.

Plus, we’re a modern law firm with a difference. Our innovative remote operating model means that you can access expert City-grade legal advice from partner-level solicitors at a fraction of the cost of traditional law firms. Our senior solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms or large international businesses. Find out more about our start-up lawyers here:

Pricing plans

Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:

City

Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.

An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.

Enterprise

Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.

A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.

On-Demand

For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.

Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.

What next?

To access legal support from just £99 per hour arrange your free no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your business requirements. Call us on 0800 689 1700, email us at enquiries@hjsolicitors.co.uk, or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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A national law firm

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

Floor 2, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
2-5 Velocity Tower, 1 St Mary’s Square, Sheffield, S1 4LP

Our other locations

Immeuble Danica B, 21, avenue Georges Pompidou, Lyon Cedex 03, Lyon, 69486