Starting a Startup: Where to Start - Part 4: Picking a Supporting Team

26.08.2018
Shira Teger, Associate at Yigal Arnon & Co.
A primer on the basic parameters to consider when establishing a startup in Israel
\r\n
This series was written for you: the entrepreneur with a dream. We want to help you turn your dream into a thriving reality by sharing our expertise with you.

What follows is a series of articles outlining the basics you need in order to start a startup in Israel; it contains terms you need to know, steps you will have to take, and considerations to ponder when making choices about how to run and grow your company. We'll add a new chapter each week – so keep coming back for more! As always, we welcome your comments below.

If you missed Part 1 (Making it Official: Incorporation), Part 2 (Who's Who and Who to Hire), or Part 3 (Division of Labor) - be sure to check them out. Otherwise, let's jump right in to Part 4 of this series: Picking a Supporting Team.

Beyond your internal team members – the CxOs, employees, board, shareholders, etc. – your company is going to need some backup. The most common external team members are lawyers, accountants, and consultants. While it can be daunting to have to shell out what feels like big bucks for these types of advisors, the stronger your team is, the better your company will be.

Lawyers.

A good lawyer with experience with startups can provide you with more than just contracts (although you need those too). Your lawyer will help you set up the proper corporate structure for your entity, and make sure the appropriate procedures are followed on a day-to-day basis. Legal advice comes into play when negotiating terms of employment, of investments, of sales and marketing contracts, of protection of intellectual property, and so forth. Attorneys in your field can advise regarding what's considered "industry standard" and what's completely out of the norm. This can be particularly valuable when it comes to creating a company that's viable in the long run, and attractive to investors. Plus – lawyers who know the startup game can connect your company to relevant players in the field: investors, service providers, and even top-level personnel.

Accountants.

In addition to trying to improve the world with your genius idea, it's probably a safe bet that your company is looking to make some money. And you know what they say: you gotta spend money to make money. An accountant will not only help you keep track of what you spend and what you make; an accountant can advise on how to design your business in the most tax-beneficial way. And with taxes what they are, a competent, experienced accounting firm can make all the difference in the world. Your accountant is also necessary to help your company prepare its periodical financial reports throughout the year, plus an audited report at the end of each fiscal year (which is a legal requirement, and something your shareholders expect to receive).

Consultants.

Your employees will probably do the bulk of the work for your company. But sometimes, you need extra hands, either temporarily or on an ongoing basis. You can think of consultants (also referred to as freelancers or contractors) as other companies or services that you hire to give you a boost. Sometimes it's just to design your webpage or logo, or to help you find new customers. Other times, it can be a programmer who contributes a critical bit to your algorithm. Two important aspects to remember when it comes to "outsiders": Firstly, they will issue an invoice to your company to pay them (rather than joining your payroll), and you will not be responsible for paying their social benefits. Secondly, unless they specifically sign a document stating that the intellectual property they create belongs to you – it's theirs. So it's incredibly important to make sure they assign their work to your company. We'll discuss more about safeguarding intellectual property elsewhere in this series.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice.

Shira Teger is an associate in Yigal Arnon & Co.’s high-tech practice. In her previous incarnation (before choosing a life of law), Shira was a journalist.