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digitalCounsels supports you in finding the right lawyer for your startup

Congratulations on your decision to start a business! You have an exciting journey ahead of you, but also a few hurdles to overcome. A first stumbling block lies in the company foundation. Before you start your business, you need to choose the right legal form for it. Once the choice has been made, the right steps must be taken to incorporate the company and register it in commercial registry.

At digitalCounsels we want to help you to start your business as efficiently as possible.

In addition to the new challenges involved when starting a business, dealing with expensive lawyers and large contracts should not further absorb you.

With an experienced startup lawyer by your side, you can make sure everything runs smoothly. Not only can you save a lot of time and money, but you can focus on what matters most: expanding your business.

To start setting up your business, tell us about your situation on our platform and get for free a handful of suggestions from start-up lawyers who can help you today.

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Why engage a lawyer to establish a company?

Top startup lawyers can help you choose the right legal structure for your planned business activities. Once the legal form has been determined, your lawyer will help determine the purpose of the company and verify that the proposed business activity requires regulatory approvals.

A good startup lawyer executes the tasks assigned to him. An outstanding lawyer goes one step further and takes into account proactively any legal risks associated with planned business activities. Reviewing your business plan will help you to create the documents and contracts you need. Ideally, aspects such as insurance or future business activities should be proactively considered. With a risk analysis of your business you can minimize future legal costs.

The common legal structures are the following:

Sole proprietorship

The sole proprietorship is ideal for smaller personal businesses. No minimum capital is required for the foundation. The owner of the business is the sole owner of the sole proprietorship. The sole proprietorship is particularly suitable for activities that are strongly related to the founder. Often, architects, craftsmen, doctors, lawyers and local trading companies opt for the legal form of a sole proprietorship.

GmbH

The GmbH is a mixture between an AG and a collective company. It is suitable for family businesses and small to medium sized companies. The GmbH is a personal limited company formed by one or more persons or trading companies. The GmbH is a trading company with legal personality (legal entity). Private and business assets can be separated. The liability of the shareholders is limited to the share capital. The share capital (capital stock) is minimum CHF 20,000. This legal form is ideal for for-profit companies. It is mainly chosen by SMEs and family businesses.

Joint-stock company

The corporation (AG) is the most common legal form for corporations in Switzerland. As a corporation, the public limited company usually deals with the operation of a company. It is considered a typical business form of companies with higher capital requirements. It is suitable for almost all types of profit-oriented companies. The AG is a capital company formed by one or more persons or trading companies. The AG is a trading company with legal personality (legal entity). The public limited company separates private and business assets. The liability of the shareholders is limited to the share capital. An AG can be founded and operated by at least one shareholder. The mandatory share capital (share capital) of a minimum of CHF 100,000.

Why incorporate the company with digitalCounsels

At digitalCounsels we want to help you to start your business as efficiently as possible. Tell us your situation and our founding experts will work with you to clarify your legal needs. In a next step, you will receive transparent offers from selected startup lawyers. Choose the right lawyer and use our digital collaborative platform.

Questions to a business lawyer

No matter what industry you’re in, you need a business lawyer to take care of your business affairs. Make sure you consider these questions.

  • Which contracts do I need?

Before starting your business, you should consult a lawyer to understand which contracts you need. Most give you this information for free or at minimal cost. Among other things this helps to reduce the risk of future disputes, to promote the timely payment of customers, and to establish advantageous relationships with employers. It is always better to conclude more contracts than necessary. It is therefore an advantage to have a lawyer who can handle these tasks.

  • What are my risks?

A good business lawyer does the tasks assigned to him. An outstanding lawyer goes one step further and takes proactively into account any legal risks related to the proposed business activities. By reviewing your business plan, the documents and contracts you need can be created. Ideally, aspects such as insurance or future business activities should be proactively considered. With a risk analysis of your business activity you can minimize future legal costs.

  • Who will do my job?

If you choose a small law firm or solicitor, it is likely that the person you are in touch with will take over your job. If you hire a larger law firm, ask at the beginning who will take over your work. Many large law firms hand over routine tasks to their junior employees. Although these lawyers have a good education, they may lack the experience to solve more complex issues. This can sometimes lead to problems. To avoid this scenario, first agree with your lawyer who will do the work for your company.

  • Does the lawyer have already customers in the same industry?

With this question you can clarify two important points. On the one hand, you can find out if the lawyer has gained experience with the industry-specific legal aspects. Industry knowledge is a big advantage. Lawyers with experience in this area simplify communication and have the specific expertise and documents you need.

On the other hand, this question helps you to identify potential conflicts of interest. If a lawyer represents a competitor in your industry, he may not be the best choice for the job. There is an ethical code in this regard.

  • Advising vs. forensics

Remember that there are two types of business lawyers. Consulting lawyers design and review legal documents for entrepreneurs. Litigators solve disputes with other parties. Finding a lawyer with experience in both areas is one option. However, for some companies it is a better idea to find a different lawyer for every aspect.

  • Financial market law

Lawyers with specialization in the banking, financial and capital markets law ensure that their clients comply with all legal and regulatory requirements in the area of ​​financial market regulation. Anyone who wants to be active in the financial market must first clarify whether a business activity subject to a license is exercised.

  • Mediation and arbitration

Before a contract is breached, there is a way out of bad business relations through dispute resolution. During dispute resolution, your lawyer designs documents that guide you through the process. The lawyer may also act as a referee or mediator.

  • Tax law

Although you do not need a tax lawyer, a business lawyer with tax experience is a clear advantage. They can give you tips on how to limit your tax liability. Even if they do not deal directly with taxes, it is good to have a legal opinion next to the accountant.

Services

  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Letter of Intent
  • Shareholder agreements
  • SaaS contracts
  • Consulting contracts
  • Term sheets
  • Convertible Notes
  • Investment Agreements
  • Board Regulations
  • License agreements
  • Leasing
  • IT Agreements
  • and much more

Fees

The costs vary depending on the type and extent of the services and contracts required, the legal fees and the desired processing time.

Some lawyers can offer their advice for start-up advice from CHF 220 per hour.

For advice in special areas, such as e.g. licensing agreements may cost lawyers up to CHF 500 per hour, while the incorporation itself can often be offered at a fixed price.

We are aware that your situation is unique. That is why digitalCounsels provides tailored offers from selected lawyers. Choose the offer that best suits you and your budget.

FAQ

What types of agreements should I be concerned about as an SME?

An SME must take into account a large number of agreements and contracts in order to protect its interests. If the company has already been founded, you are probably looking for employees. In this case you will need employment contracts, freelance contracts, confidentiality agreements or agreements that protect your intellectual property.

Without knowing what stage your business is in, it’s difficult to predict which contracts you need. It is advisable t to get in touch with a lawyer and get advice.

On the internet, I find many sites offering free legal documents. Do I still need a lawyer to look at the document?

Yes, although many free legal documents are well designed, you should have them proofread by a lawyer who can tailor them to your specific needs.

Many of the legal documents that you see online have very general provisions that often fail to take into account your unique situation.

digitalCounsels offers a large number of contracts including legal advice at a fixed price. By discussing your exact needs together with a digitalCounsels lawyer, he or she will be able to create or revise the contract to meet your personal needs.

With our selected contract lawyers with many years of experience who can help you on demand, your company can be sure that your legal agreements will protect you in full. From shareholder agreements and letters of intent to convertible notes, compensation agreements and other contracts – we are here for you.

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