The Small Biz Startup Plans

redwood-treesYou’re starting a brand new business, or you’ve been doing what you love for a few years, as a coach, consultant, web publisher, or artist, and now you’re finally making money. You’re ready to turn this hobby-business into a real business, and want to set things up right to avoid problems later. You need someone who is on your team, so you can get things done right the first time around.

The thing is, you’re a smart and capable business owner. You could do a ton of research and find answers about contracts, incorporation, trademarks, copyrights, liability, compliance, and other small business legal issues on your own.

But doing it yourself may not be the best use of your time and energy (and legal research may not be your thing). My clients bring me onto their team to reduce this burden and help them set up & structure their business, so they can get to work on what they love, helping their clients and changing the world.

Through the Small Biz Startup Plans, we work together for four months to get your business set up right. As we work together, you can ask unlimited questions via email so you don’t get stuck, and we will create the framework to support you in your new or growing business for the next few years.

In the Startup Plans, I will help you:

  • Get unstuck and free from undecided legal issues, so you can keep moving forward on what’s really important.
  • Stop overwhelm from all of the legal to-do’s on your list, by handling the legal ones for you and teaching you what else you need to do, in what order.
  • 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 get your work started or continue to grow.

Who is a good fit for a Small Biz Startup Plan?

  • Businesses that are brand new or have been around for a few years, but are going through a transition.
  • Making zero to $300K annual income.
  • One to three owners.
  • Service providers, artists, experts, or online publishers.
  • Solo businesses up to 15 employees/contractors.
  • Comfortable working with an attorney primarily via email.

Who is NOT a good fit for a Startup Plan?

  • 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 need to talk to an attorney regularly by telephone to be comfortable getting advice or making decisions. (Unlimited telephone advice is included in the General Counsel service.)
  • Your business is fast growing and rapidly changing, and you have more complex needs than can be provided by this Startup Plan.
  • You need something that I don’t have expertise in, such as raising venture capital, MLMs, or franchising.
  • You primarily need trademark registration (not included in the Startup Plans). However, we can add on Trademark Plans to your Startup Plan–just let me know!

How do we work together?

  • Once you’ve signed the contract, I’ll send you a short list of information, data, and documents that I need from you to get started.
  • We will have an initial email exchange to chat about your business plans, download your mental to-do list, and gather information about which legal to do’s you have already completed.
  • We will agree on the priority order of your deliverables, depending upon your particular needs.
  • We will work together to discuss legal issues, gather documents, and manage your to do list.
  • Each month I’ll check in with you via email to discuss outstanding tasks and move forward on your Startup Plan.
  • As we complete each item on the list and you implement them in your business, you will have time to ask follow up questions using the four months of unlimited email legal advice included in each Startup Plan.

Here’s What is Included in the Startup Plans:

(Don’t worry if you don’t know which you need—just contact me below and I’ll help you decide.)

 Basic Startup Plan $1200Contracts-Only Startup Plan $1500
LLC/Inc. Startup Plan for Online Businesses $1500LLC/Inc. Startup Plan for Service Providers $2000
One-on-One Services ContractOption A (choose one)
Online Sales Agreement (selling products and services via a website)Option B (choose one)
Website Review
Privacy Policy
Website Terms & Disclosures
LLC or Corporation Formation
Corporation Bylaws or LLC Operating Agreement (one owner only)
LLC Resolutions or Corporation Minutes
DBA Filing and EIN
Business License, Zoning, and Permits
Business / Project Name Vetting (to avoid trademark infringement)
Prioritized To Do Lists
Monthly Checkin Via Email
Email Advice (for four months)unlimitedunlimitedunlimitedunlimited
Bonus 30-minute Phone Consultation (regular price $150)

How much does it cost?

Basic Startup Plan: $1200 (or four installments of $312)

Contracts-Only Startup Plan: $1500 (or four installments of $390)

LLC/Inc. Startup Plan for Online Businesses: $1500 (or four installments of $390)

LLC/Inc. Startup Plan for Service Providers: $2000 (or four installments of $520)

What if my needs don’t fit one of these packages?

Certain items are add-on to these packages, such Trademark Counseling Sessions ($350) and Partnership Agreements ($1500). If you need different items included in your plan (such as a different combination of the above services, more contracts, multiple business entities, or trademarks), I can create a customized plan package for you.

What happens after four months?

If you need ongoing advice, you can choose to go on an Email Advice Only Quarterly Plan for $150 per quarter, which includes unlimited email advice and contract review. This plan is only available for Startup Plan clients.

What if I need more contracts? What if I need a different kind of business situation handled, such as a merger or dissolution?

Additional contracts can be added on for flat-fee of $500 to $1500 each, depending upon the complexity of the agreement. We can add them on at the beginning, or later as needed. If you need a business entity merger or a dissolution, contact me below and I will give you a quote (pricing depending on your particular situation, including the state of formation).

Do you have any spots available for new Startup Plan clients?

I take only five new Startup Plan clients per month. I usually can accept clients on a rolling basis, but occasionally need to schedule a start date that is a few weeks from when you sign the contract.

What’s the next step?

Contact me below, so we can discuss whether your business is a good fit for a Startup Plan.

Once I get your message, I’ll review it, check out your website (if you have one), and let you know if I have any questions. If we need to, we can also have a quick chat on the phone to make sure we’re a good fit to work together, and to answer any questions that you may have about working together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take clients who are located in other states or countries?

Yes, I have clients in many different states, so that’s no problem. Since I don’t do litigation and I work online, we can easily work together remotely. Occasionally there may be a document that needs to be filed in person in your local county or city clerk’s office, so I’ll prepare the document and send it to you for filing. I only take clients from other countries if they want to set up and run their business in the United States (for example, I have a client in France who runs her company as a Nevada LLC).

Are there a lot of other expenses besides your Startup Plan fee?

There will be fees paid to various government agencies to set up your company. Fees paid to governments include corporation/LLC formation, annual reports, business license, permit fees, franchise fees (flat-fee taxes), publishing, and DBA registration. The fees can range from $20 to $800, but I’ll always tell you any fees ahead of time. Typically, I pay the fees and then invoice you to reimburse me. I also occasionally need to send documents on your behalf via Priority Mail or an express mail service, and I’ll invoice you only for the actual amount that I paid for the shipping.