ONAMI Science Entrepreneur Expert Series: Top Legal Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Technology and market development are essential work for science startups, but just as important is company financial and legal structure. Early mistakes or sub-optimal choices can be costly or fatal later on. There is a lot to decide: corporate form (LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp?), equity ownership and vesting, compensation arrangements, employee and contractor agreements, IP/invention assignments and more.

Veteran startup and venture fund attorney (and CPA) Jon Summers will help you start off in the right direction.

Jon is an attorney and CPA who represents technology and emerging growth companies with respect to the formation, financing, governance, and transactional matters. He counsels clients on venture capital and angel financings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures, technology licensing, commercial agreements and general business matters. Jon is experienced in stock option plans, executive compensation, corporate reorganizations and spinouts, securities offerings, and the formation of investment funds. Notable clients include Portland Seed Fund, GlobeSherpa, Giftango (sold to Incomm), Exterro, Sol Republic, Treehouse Island, Nouvola, Schoolhouse Electric, Black Rock Coffee Bar, and Ruby Receptionists. Jon speaks frequently on the subjects of startups, financings, and mergers & acquisitions. Jon teaches an Entrepreneurship seminar at Lewis & Clark Law School. Prior to his legal career, Jon worked for four years for Arthur Andersen & Co., an international public accounting firm, as a financial statement auditor where he earned his certified public accounting license in 1989.

It can be more painful and costly to fix early company formation errors than to do things right the first time