Boston area legal services for startups and entrepreneurs.

First Venture Legal is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses with responsive, cost-effective legal services.

Get Started!

23 Jan114th Congress Tries Again To Pass Startup Act

At the start of the 114th Congress, a bi-partisan group of sponsors have reintroduced the Startup Act, a bill that has been kicking around Congress several times over the past four years. The bill has languished during previous attempts to pass it, but the bill’s primary sponsors, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), […]

Read More ...

20 JanHow Startups Fail to Protect Their IP

Startups sometimes make lots of mistakes with using or protecting their intellectual property. Oftentimes such mistakes boil down to a failure to appreciate of what intellectual property is or how to protect it. The first IP mistake entrepreneurs can make is using intellectual property from their current employer (or former employer if you’ve moved on […]

Read More ...

16 JanWhen Should a Startup Set Up Its Employee Equity Option Pool?

Many founders wonder when they need to plan out how much of the equity will be made available to compensate the key employees of the company — this is the process of creating or setting aside an “option pool”. The best time to do this is at the beginning of the company, when it is […]

Read More ...

13 JanRule 144 — How Restricted Securities Are Sold

This week I guest-authored another article over at CrowdExpert, which you can read here. The article discusses Rule 144, which is one the primary mechanisms by which restricted securities — securities sold in private offering transactions such as Rule 506 are restricted from being resold — are resold, and have enabled the rise of “secondary […]

Read More ...

06 JanA Handy Guide to Federal Securities Exemptions

Before the holidays, I guest-authored an article over on CrowdExpert.com, providing a quick guide to the various exemptions to securities registration at the federal level. Feel free to head over to CrowdExpert.com to check out the article here. Hopefully you’ll get a good sense of the various federal securities exemptions — though, as always, you […]

Read More ...

09 DecWhat You Should Be Including In Your Founders’, Shareholders’, or Operating Agreement

We’ve seen famous cases of successful startups who’ve become big companies have issues involving former co-founders or collaborators who left or are ousted from the company in the early stages wanting to be compensated for their often-critical contributions to the company’s product or service — the issue arises when the company didn’t have proper agreements […]

Read More ...

25 NovSEC Commissioner Suggests “Millionaires Can Fend For Themselves”

One of the stranger recent rule-making efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission involves the review and potential revision of the definition of an individual accredited investor. Many in the industry suspect that the SEC may consider revising the dollar limits for the individual standard upward, although perhaps even more wonder why the definition needs […]

Read More ...

21 NovMaking Your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy Enforceable

In your app or website’s Terms of Service, you very likely have a provision to the effect of: “By using this app/website you agree to these Terms of Service”. You also likely have a link to the full terms of service, usually on your website or app’s homepage. Your app’s or website’s terms of service […]

Read More ...

18 NovWhen A Confidentiality Agreement is Just a Piece of Paper

Startups frequently have their employees and key contractors, suppliers, and/or partners sign confidentiality agreements to protect the confidential information and trade secrets that the startup may share with those parties. However, courts have consistently held that confidentiality agreements are unenforceable — not really worth the paper they are printed on — when the company seeking […]

Read More ...

14 NovNew California Law Will Affect Websites and Apps With Under-18 Users

Revisions made by California to its Online Privacy Protection Act are planned to take effect at the beginning of next year. These revisions, concerning the rights of minors, impact websites, applications, or online services (“Covered Services”) that either 1) are directed to or intended for an audience of minors, or 2) have actual knowledge that […]

Read More ...