The Husch Blackwell Cortex office is co-located with innovators, entrepreneurs and start-up companies and provides quality consultation in a cost effective manner.  The Cortex Innovation Community is moving St. Louis toward becoming a world-class technology innovation district.

Start-up companies typically encounter a host of legal issues that cut across many legal disciplines. The goal of our Cortex initiative is to provide creative and innovative solutions targeted to the particular needs of the start-up and to provide these solutions in a cost effective manner.  Working with a start-up at their early stages is critical to their success.

For example, corporate services provided by our Cortex office will include, but certainly are not limited to, strategic corporate formation, commercial contracts and finance agreements.  Having a well thought out and forward looking corporate structure is essential to a start-up’s success.  In addition, their commercial contracts and finance agreements must be strategic and must support their business objectives.  A wide variety of different agreements are necessary in any ongoing business and these varied and necessary agreements form the backbone of the company.

Labor & Employment issues typically come into play and may include:

  • Employee benefit issues, including plan design, administration, tax qualification and ERISA compliance
  • Employment agreements
  • Employment eligibility verification
  • Employment restrictions
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements
  • OSHA safety audits and setting up OSHA compliant safety programs
  • Review of HR policies, procedures, legally required notices and forms for compliance
  • Separation agreements and general releases
  • Wage and hour issues

Start-up companies in the healthcare industry typically have a range of legal needs:

  • Compliance counseling
  • False claim issues
  • Fraud and abuse counseling
  • HIPAA issues
  • Information technology
  • Privacy and security issues relating to patient information
  • Required requirements under the Affordable Care Act

Intellectual property is also a concern.  It is critical for a start-up to develop an intellectual property strategy that supports the business objectives of the start-up.  In addition to establishing an initial strategy, the start-up must continue to manage their intellectual property portfolio, and our attorneys can assist in this regard.

Still further, compliance with security laws when issuing stock or soliciting investors is an area of strict compliance for which legal counseling is highly advised.  The sale of stock, partnership interests and LLC interests are highly governed and most of these types of sales must comply with certain disclosure and filing requirements unless such sales are exempt. Failure to comply with such requirements can result in financial penalties for the start-up company.  How such transactions are structured will dictate compliance with state and federal security laws as well as tax laws.  The Husch Blackwell Cortex office can address these issues in a safe and efficient manner.

Our Cortex team includes former industry professionals and scientists with university and industry experience, and many have advanced technical degrees.  Our knowledge and experience enables us to both understand the science and technologies behind the business and to provide start-up companies with the right resources and expertise to meet their legal needs from their inception throughout their continued growth.