This free information event for Science and Technology businesses will cover those initial legal considerations for a start up or early growth stage business.
‘Innovation Limited’ – the early years. The launch and initial growth of a company is an exciting yet challenging time. Whatever the nature and size of your business, the process will involve similar principles and steps. During this workshop, our experts will provide you with an overview of the legal considerations during the early years of your business including:
• Corporate investment
• Protecting your IP
• Employment law
• Real estate
You have developed a great idea with a dedicated team. But to transform your company into a fully fledged business you will need funding. Whether you are at pre-seed investment stage or you are already gaining traction and are looking for additional capital, investors will want to see that the company is being run by a cohesive founder team and that relationships are built on strong legal foundations. We will explain how we take a sensible, commercial approach to these arrangements. We will also talk you through the things you need to consider when approaching any funding round as well as providing practical tips on attracting further funding (including tax efficient incentives) and dealing with professional investors.
Protection of IP
Your company will almost certainly be founded on IP which you have worked hard to create. It will, at least initially, be the company’s greatest asset and as a founder team, your continuing involvement in its development is critical. You therefore need to consider the various ways in which you can protect your innovation. We will provide an overview of the different strategic options to consider including patents, copyright and brand protection. We will also provide some practical advice on protecting your know-how and confidential information, which will be of equal importance to you.
There are a number of matters that your business will need to consider in relation to its staff, through the employment lifecycle from recruitment through to termination. Have you considered what you will need to do before engaging staff for the first time? This goes beyond simply deciding how much to pay someone. You will first need to consider the most appropriate way of engaging staff. Broadly speaking this would be as an employee, a worker, or as a self-employed contractor. Different rights attach to each category so it is important to decide which is right for your business from the outset. We will explain the differences and advise on the pros and cons of each option. We will also look at the recruitment process and what you can and can’t ask candidates. Many organisations will find that they need to engage staff with specialist skills. If you can’t find suitable candidates within the UK you may need to look to recruit from elsewhere. We will flag the key immigration issues you need to consider before doing this. Once you have found suitable candidates you will need to issue appropriate contracts and prepare policies. You will also need to manage the employment relationship through to termination. We will flag the key issues to consider and how to mitigate any potential risks to your business.
Where should you move to on spin-out and beyond? Some of you will already have the support and luxury of the Oxford Centre for Innovation but what happens when you out grow out of that initial space? Where should you go next? Our team will guide you through the differences between licences and leases and provide practical tips on keeping as much flexibility in your premises as possible.