We counsel startups in all stages of development to help them overcome their legal challenges under Swiss and U.S. law. We also assist angels, venture capitalists and corporate venture funds, and advise them on their legal setup and portfolio investments.
To help you navigate the wide range of our services and find the relevant information faster, tell us: Are you a startup founder or an investor?
Need to move fast? We can keep up!
Your life as a business owner is already complicated. You take risks and have a lot of decisions to make. And now you also need to think about how to protect your business from legal hazards, make sure you comply with government regulations and prepare for complex negotiations.
Let us make your life easier and take care of your legal matters.
We do more than just draft contracts. Be it fundraising, employment, intellectual property, data protection or other legal challenges – we’ll make sure the interests of your business are protected.
What situation describes you best?
For Startups Moving into a Financing Round
Are you looking for investors and need to get your startup ready for them? Or do you have potential investors already, but aren’t sure how to tackle the upcoming financing round, what to expect from the investors or what their terms mean for your startup?
Your investors will do their due diligence and protect their interests. We can help protect yours.
- Advise you on your fundraising strategy and other related questions
- Get your startup due diligence ready
- Manage the financing round
- Negotiate with the investors on your behalf
- Draft all necessary legal documents
- Advise you on regulatory compliance
Are your investors from the USA?
Michel, the founder of our firm, is dually qualified as a Swiss and California attorney and can advise you on the differences between the Swiss and U.S. law and startup ecosystems. We also work with partner law firms in New York and California.
For Startups Looking to Set Up an Employee Participation Plan
A great team is one of the biggest assets a startup can have, but building it isn’t easy. Startups often can’t offer their employees the same salaries and job security as established companies.
That’s why employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) or similar employee participation programs are often a good option to attract and retain top talent.
However, setting up such a plan is a complex undertaking. What type of incentive to choose: shares, options, or phantom stock? How to avoid legal and other pitfalls?
Let us free you from the hassle. We’ll design your employee participation plan and help you implement it successfully.
- Design and draft your employee participation plan (shares, options, phantom stock, etc.)
- Help you set up an option pool
- Manage the plan
- Help you avoid pitfalls with the tax authorities, including getting a tax ruling if necessary
- Draft all necessary legal documents
For Startups Looking to Protect Their IP
For most startups, their intellectual property (IP) is an important, if not THE most important asset. How well your IP is protected may determine the value of your startup when you talk to investors or when you’re heading for an exit. It may also affect the growth of your startup and the development of your products and services – for example if an employee or contractor leaves and takes the IP he created with him, or if a competitor claims your IP infringes on his.
Let’s protect what is yours.
- Help you register your trademark or design
- Support you in protecting your trade secrets and know-how
- Make sure your startup owns all IP rights
- Help you commercialize your IP (licensing etc.)
- Help you establish and implement a comprehensive IP strategy
For Startups Expanding from Switzerland to the USA or from the USA to Switzerland
Want to expand your activities from Switzerland to the USA or from the USA to Switzerland and need a law firm that knows both legal systems? That’s us. We can advise you with your home and your destination in mind. Michel, the founder of our firm, is licensed both as a Swiss and California attorney and has worked with U.S. startups in the Silicon Valley. We also have a network of partner law firms in New York and California.
From Switzerland to the USA
- Help you establish a subsidiary or incorporate or register your business in the USA
- Draft or review the necessary contracts and other legal documents under U.S. law
- Take care of any issues regarding U.S. immigration law
From the USA to Switzerland
- Help you start operating your business in Switzerland
- Help you with transactions in Switzerland or between the USA and Switzerland
- Help you set up a subsidiary or get your company registered as a branch
- Help you avoid any hassle with immigration
- Draft or review any contracts and other legal documents
- Advise you on regulatory compliance (e.g. data protection)
All Services for Startups
Establishing Business Operations
- Review and analysis of your business plan from a legal perspective
- Choice of appropriate legal and equity structure
- Draft or review of company and regulatory documents
- Management and oversight of incorporation formalities
- Negotiation and draft of shareholder and founder agreements
- Compliance with registration obligations
- Seed and venture financing (preferred stock, convertible debt, loan agreements)
- Capitalization table management
Corporate and M&A
- Setup and implementation of general corporate structure
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Joint ventures
- Corporate governance and general housekeeping
Labor & Employment
- Employee participation/incentive plans
- Employment agreements
- Contractor agreements
- Immigration (work and residence permits)
- Data protection and e-privacy
- Financial market regulation
- Trademarks and designs
- Trade secrets
- Establishment and implementation of IP strategy
Commercial and Contracts
- Supply and distribution agreements
- Cooperation agreements (joint ventures, franchising)
- Licensing agreements
- Software development contracts
- Customer and consumer contracts
- General terms and conditions
- Privacy policies
Want to work together?
The Swiss startup ecosystem is growing and getting more sophisticated. As a business angel, venture capitalist or manager of a corporate venture fund, you are a crucial part of this development. Let us make sure your legal interests are protected while you’re setting up or growing your investment portfolio.
- Run the legal due diligence (red flag or full scope) on the startup you are planning to invest in
- Draft or review your term sheet and other necessary legal documents
- Counsel you before and during an investment round and negotiate with the startup on your behalf
- Advise you on fund formation and fund structures
Are you investing in a Swiss startup from the USA or vice versa?
We know both the Swiss and U.S. law and startup ecosystems and can advise you on the differences between them. Depending on your needs, we also work with our U.S. partner firms.