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Meet some of our California Startup Lawyers

Sarah S. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (13)
Member Since:
June 19, 2023

Sarah S.

Principal Attorney and Founder
Free Consultation
Los Angeles
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Loyola Law School

With 20 years of transactional law experience, I have represented corporate giants like AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as mid-size and small businesses across a wide spectrum of legal needs, including business purchase agreements, entity formation, employment matters, commercial and residential real estate transactions, partnership agreements, online business terms and policy drafting, and business and corporate compliance. Recognizing the complexities of the legal landscape, I am dedicated to providing accessible and transparent legal services by offering a flat fee structure, making high-quality legal representation available to all. My extensive knowledge and commitment to client success establishes me as a trusted advisor for businesses of all sizes.

Edward R. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (1)
Member Since:
August 20, 2023

Edward R.

Attorney
Free Consultation
San Diego, CA
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of San Diego

I have been a California since 2003 when I graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law and have worked in-house and at several major law firms before starting my own practice. I specialize in intellectual property and other business-related issues and have helped many entrepreneurs grow their ideas into profitable businesses.

Rosemary L. on ContractsCounsel
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4.9 (6)
Member Since:
August 11, 2023

Rosemary L.

Startup, Business and Real Estate Attorney
Free Consultation
Los Angeles California
29 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of Southern California

I represent startups, small and existing business in organizational, entity and agreement issues. I provide services for contracts, employment issues, intellectual property, operating issues, leases and real estate. I have extensive experience in large real estate transactions, title issues, financing and leasing. I have provided a large amount of pro bono services to Public Counsel.

Andrew A. on ContractsCounsel
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4.8 (8)
Member Since:
June 1, 2023

Andrew A.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Charlotte NC and SF CA
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

I am the Managing Partner of Adams Global Immigration, a Business Immigration Law firm focusing on nonimmigrant visa processing (H-1B, L-1, E-2, E-3, O-1, TN, etc.) and immigrant visa processing (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, PERM, NIW, etc.). I have many years of business immigration experience, including legal work at Jackson and Hertogs, Fragomen, E&M Mayock, and as a Freelance Immigration Specialist. My specialization includes complicated Request for Evidence responses and high-volume nonimmigrant visa preparation. I can provide legal advice regarding employment visa preparation, unique international travel issues, and various other complex immigration matters. Prior to joining Jackson & Hertogs in 2018, I served as a Certified Law Clerk with the San Diego Public Defender office through Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). In this role, I argued over 40 hearings in state court for criminal juvenile matters, adult misdemeanors, and adult felonies. I subsequently joined the TJSL Removal Defense clinic, wherein I argued and won a full asylum trial in Federal Court for a Moroccan refugee fleeing severe LGBTQ persecution.

Maria A. on ContractsCounsel
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4.7 (2)
Member Since:
June 29, 2023

Maria A.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Los Angeles, CA
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Whittier Law School

Maria is a family law attorney dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of personal and family legal matters with compassion and efficiency. From divorce and child custody disputes to marital agreements and domestic violence cases, Maria provides personalized legal solutions tailored to your unique circumstances. With her extensive knowledge of family law, she strives to protect your rights, advocate for your best interests, and empathetically guide you towards a positive resolution. Trust Maria to be your reliable advocate during these difficult times, ensuring that your family's well-being is safeguarded every step of the way. Let's work together to find the best legal path forward for you and your loved ones.

Myrna L. on ContractsCounsel
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4.7 (1)
Member Since:
August 1, 2023

Myrna L.

Attorney/Contract Manager
Free Consultation
San Francisco
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Lincoln Law School of Sacramento

I am a licensed attorney in California. I worked as a Contract Manager for the State of California for 14 years, negotiating and developing contracts and grants funded by federal and state government. As an owner of a real estate/property management company and real estate asset manager for corporations, non profit organizations and government entities, I negotiated sales and managements of industrial, commercial, and residential properties including development of contracts, leases, subleases, options, and sales agreements. As an attorney, I have worked on contracts, labor/employment cases, landlord/tenant and probate cases.

Keren G. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 13, 2023

Keren G.

Partner
Free Consultation
New Orleans
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, LA, NV
University of California, Davis School of Law

Keren E. Gesund has extensive litigation expense. She has successfully defended and prosecuted claims against debt collectors, banks, credit reporting agencies, subcontractors, manufacturers and consumers who have suffered harassment or injury. She handles contentious business and commercial cases for both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court.

Thomas G. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 16, 2023

Thomas G.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Manhattan, KS
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of La Verne

After graduating law school in 2015, I practiced for a few years in LA, then becoming a contractor for large litigation projects. Now working from home in Kansas, I can offer LA service at Midwest prices.

Dilini L. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 18, 2023

Dilini L.

Attorney
Free Consultation
California
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of California, Berkeley School of Law

I am an attorney licensed in California with particular experience in local policy work, workplace justice, and environmental law. I have authored or co-authored over 30 amicus briefs (including one for which I received an Amicus Service Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association), have extensive experience researching state law across the country and across issue areas, and pride myself in clearly and concisely distilling complex and/or technical legal concepts for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

Albert I. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
July 25, 2023

Albert I.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Irvine, California
36 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Pepperdine University SOL

Construction lawyer practicing in Southern California since 1988. Have extensive experience in construction contracts and forms drafting, negotiating. I also serve as counsel for large material suppliers and have extensive experience in commercial transactions, drafting and negotiation of commercial documents including dealerships, NDAs, etc.

Luiza D. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
November 1, 2023
Max K. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
August 5, 2023

Max K.

Associate General Counsel
Free Consultation
Las Vegas, Nevada
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, NY
Western State University College of Law

Transactional attorney with experience in drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts related and ancillary to commercial leasing. Licensed in CA and NY.

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Startup Legal Questions and Answers

Startup

Convertible Note

California

Asked on Jul 30, 2023

Convertible note vs. equity financing?

I am an entrepreneur and I am in the process of raising capital for my startup. I am considering both convertible note and equity financing options and am trying to decide which one is best suited for my company. I need to understand the key differences between the two options to make an informed decision.

Thaddeus W.

Answered Sep 8, 2023

Good question. Convertible notes (as well as SAFE's, discussed below) differ from equity in several respects. The most fundamental difference is that a convertible note is debt. A second major difference is that, although the note is debt, its terms include the noteholder's right to acquire an equity position in the future; if a certain event later occurs (defined in the note, but typically the sale of preferred stock to a future investor (e.g. a venture capital firm), but also a sale of the company can have a similar effect), this will trigger the note to convert into equity and the note is "satisfied" ... that is, the debt is extinguished when the note converts and the holder thereby becomes an equity holder (typically coming to own shares of preferred stock very similar to that issued to the future investors in that triggering event). These two differences are related to a third. A convertible note is often issued without a valuation of the company. For example, when a startup business has no operating history, it is impossible for the startup founders or the investor to decide what the company is worth. Equity cannot be issued for a fair market value (FMV), since there is no basis to determine what the FMV is. A convertible note resolves that by giving the investor (the note holder) the right to convert the note into equity later on, when another investor and the company can agree on a company valuation. In other words, the convertible note allows the company to "kick the can (of valuation) down the road" to be dealt with at another time. But, since a convertible note is debt, is has a repayment provision, and normally carries interest. This means that the note is carried on the company's balance sheet as debt, and presents the company with the future obligation to repay the note if a conversion event has not happened before the note's maturity date. So, SAFE's are often used, especially now that they have become so familiar to investors. (SAFE stands for Simple Agreement for Future Equity). Essentially, as SAFE is a convertible note without the debt features. A SAFE carries no interest and does not have to be repaid. The investor in a SAFE will normally be sophisticated and able to assess the chances the company will do well enough for a conversion event (the issuance of preferred stock, or a sale of the company) to result in the investor's SAFE converting, and thus give the investor comfort that would otherwise be lacking in an instrument that has no repayment obligation. Like a convertible note, a SAFE kicks the can of valuation down the road, where a valuation can later be determined by the company and a future investor. Founders should exercise caution in issuing convertible notes or SAFE's. Among other reasons, founders commonly do not appreciate the impact that convertible notes or SAFE's can have on the founders' own ownership. Convertible notes and SAFE's often include a feature called a "valuation cap." This can result in surprising dilution, as well as the issuance of equity to the converting note or SAFE holder at what is effectively a very low price per share, costing the company far more than the founders may have expected. Also, notes and SAFE's with very similar, but different, terms can result in a complicated capitalization table, making negotiations with venture capital firms later on more difficult, an equity transaction more complex, and thus the process more time-consuming and (therefore) more expensive.

Read 1 attorney answer>

Startup

Terms Sheet

California

Asked on Mar 30, 2021

What are the most important things to look at in a term sheet?

I am expecting to get a few term sheets from investors in the next month. I want to know what I should be looking for.

Ramsey T.

Answered Mar 30, 2021

Every term in a term sheet, by definition is important. A term sheet is a summary of the most important parts of a "deal" - a way of getting to and negotiating the hear of the deal before filling in the gaps with boilerplate. Therefore, you should make sure that you understand all of what has been proposed and negotiated in the term sheet - even the provision that don't seem that important - because they wouldn't be in the term sheet if they weren't a key term to one side or the other.

Read 1 attorney answer>

Startup

Convertible Note

New York

Asked on Mar 30, 2021

Do startups use convertible notes?

I am working to figure out what I should use for a group of investors I am speaking to about my startup. We're a technology company that is very early on. We want to raise a bit of money so we can further develop our software and pay the founders.

Ramsey T.

Answered Mar 30, 2021

Start-ups do raise capital through the use of Convertible Notes. Convertible Notes are starting to fade as the preferred sort of convertible instrument for start-ups and as SAFES become more prevalent. Convertible Notes are still quite common in more "traditional" start-up industries, such as those that involve real estate, manufacturing and other legacy industries.

Read 1 attorney answer>

Startup

New York

Asked on Mar 30, 2021

Once my options have vested for the startup I am working for, can I sell them?

I am an early employee for a startup that has raised money in the past year. I will have some of my options vested soon and wanted to know if I was able to sell them.

Ramsey T.

Answered Mar 30, 2021

It depends upon when you vest and whether or not you have a "market" for the shares. You must satisfy a holding requirement for your vested shares under US securities laws that requires that you hold your shares for at least one (1) year. The vesting period is added in - so, for example, if you vested in your options six months after receiving them and then exercised your options and tried to sell your shares, you would be in violation of US securities laws. After a one year holding period you may sell them. You might, however, have restrictions, such as a "Right of First Refusal" (a "ROFR") or other restrictions on selling your shares. Its worth checking all the documents and restrictions.

Read 1 attorney answer>

Startup

Convertible Note

Ohio

Asked on Jul 6, 2023

Can a convertible note be transferred?

I am a startup founder and I am considering using a convertible note to raise capital. I am aware that convertible notes are agreements between investors and startups, but I'm not sure if they can be transferred to other investors. I need to know if this is possible so that I can make an informed decision about the best way to raise capital for my business.

Paul S.

Answered Aug 4, 2023

It depends on the terms of the convertible note. If you don't want it to be transferable, then you should include a provision in the note prohibiting transfers, assignments, etc.

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