You have a fast growing and rapidly changing company. Perhaps you used to just handle your legal issues yourself, but you don’t have time to do that anymore. You need someone on your team to take that burden from you, so you can focus on building your business.
As you grow and have more exposure, there are additional risks. You don’t personally know every client or customer anymore, and can’t screen them like you used to. You have more people involved in your company—contractors, vendors, employees, joint venture partners—and you need to start documenting each of those relationships. You may be ready to license your work to others in your industry, bring in investors, spin off projects into their own business lines, or add other sophistication to your company.
You need help from a lawyer that understands you. Instead of telling you “no” about everything, you need an attorney who will help you figure out how to do it. You also need a lawyer who gets businesses that run online, over state and national boundaries, with staff and clients in multiple locations.
General Counsel services is an ongoing, all-inclusive relationship, where we work together for at least one year. During that year, we will build and formalize the legal structure of your business, to create the support you need for your rapidly expanding company. We will chat by phone at least monthly, so I can keep on top of your business plans and troubleshoot potential legal problems before they arise.
With this program, I will help you:
- Get unstuck and free from undecided legal issues and looming business bullies, so you can keep moving forward on what’s really important.
- Create legal contracts and frameworks that are in alignment with your business type, personality and style (yes, even if you are virtual, alternative, spiritual, or artistic).
- Keep a legal eye on your business, looking for what you “don’t know that you don’t know,” so you can avoid getting into an accidental legal mess.
- Structure your business and projects to protect your intellectual property, your money, your people, and yourself.
- Get your business set up right, quickly and efficiently, so you can continue to grow.
Who is a good fit for General Counsel Services?
- Fast growing and rapidly changing business.
- Have many projects, joint ventures, and business lines.
- Have multiple partners, contractors and/or employees.
- Have more complexity than your typical small business, such as licensing programs, multi-partner projects, and multiple business entities.
- Make over $100K/year of revenue and have been in business for 3+ years.
- Don’t have time or inclination to handle legal work yourself.
Who is NOT a good fit?
- You want a lawyer who wears a suit, works in a prestigious high rise office building, and goes to all the fancy lawyer parties.
- You want a lawyer who will answer the phone 24-7. (Yes, you get unlimited phone calls in this program, but calls need to be scheduled so I can give you the best legal advice, and to preserve my sanity.)
- You want an aggressive “attack dog” or someone who will help you do things that are borderline unethical.
- You need something that I don’t have expertise in, such as raising venture capital, MLMs, or franchising.
How do we work together?
- We will have an initial call to chat about your business plans for the year, download your mental to-do list, and gather information about what legal structure you’ve already completed.
- I’ll send you a list of information, documents, and other data I need to prepare your legal plan for the year. I can also work with your staff or contractors to gather this information.
- I’ll create your legal plan for the year, including any backlog of legal documents and reviews that need to be completed, the legal support you’ll need for your projects for the next year, and a timeline or list of priority.
- We will have a regularly scheduled monthly call to discuss the status of your projects, business changes and plans for the next month, and your needs going forward.
- We will work together via Basecamp project management software (or email), to discuss legal issues, gather documents, and manage the to do list. You can access your client file at any time to see the outstanding project status, set deadlines, or upload documents for review.
- If you need to discuss a legal issue, or have an unexpected legal problem, we can schedule a call to chat. I can usually schedule calls within one or two business days.
Here’s what’s included in General Counsel services:
- Unlimited email advice.
- Unlimited phone calls (must be scheduled).
- Unlimited review of contracts.
- Unlimited creation of contracts and contract templates.
- Unlimited website and sales page review.
- Unlimited business formation advice, filing, and compliance.*
- Unlimited business or project name vetting (for trademark compliance).
- Unlimited pre-filing trademark search.
- Unlimited trademark filing and replies to office actions.*
- Unlimited copyright registration.*
- Unlimited letters, such as cease and desist letters, demand letters, and replies.
- Review status of contractors and vendors.
- Help finding litigation counsel and managing litigation (litigation not included).
- Review of tax situation, if requested (tax preparation not included).
- Review of employment law issues (HR services not included).
- Creation of prioritized to do lists.
- Monthly meeting via phone.
*Government filing fees are not included. I will give you an estimate of any fees before they happen, of course.
How much does it cost?
General Counsel plans are customized based upon the complexity of the business, the number of business entities/divisions, owners, and staff, and the rate of change and expansion of your business. Annual retainer fees range from $6,000 to $15,000 per year. Monthly and quarterly installment plans are available.
What happens after one year?
Your contract is year-by-year. After the first year, we will re-evaluate your needs and I’ll present you with a proposal for the next year.
Do you have any availability for new General Counsel clients?
I only handle 4-6 General Counsel clients at any time (as of late August 2017 I have four General Counsel clients). Whether I can take on another client depends upon the complexity of the company and your current situation. Please contact me to see if I have availability for the start date you have in mind.
What’s the next step?
Contact me below, so we can start to chat about your business and see if we are a good fit.
First, I’ll review your message, check out your website and social media, and see if we may be good fit to work together.
If it looks like we are a match, we will have a Get Acquainted appointment phone call so you can share about your business status and plans, I can answer any questions you may have, and we can make a good decision about whether we should work together. I’ll also ask you for some additional information and documents, so I can create your General Counsel proposal and plan for the next year.
After our Get Acquainted call, I’ll create a customized written proposal and plan for your legal needs for the next twelve months. This proposal will also state the cost of your annual retainer fee.