Jeffrey D. Bears, Class of 2002 joined us to present on the basics of business law and related concepts on Thursday the 27th. Jeffrey is a corporate and securities associate at Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian Boston office. Jeffrey specializes in representing emerging companies and entrepreneurs. He represents a wide range of technology companies, from biotechnology and medical devices to consumer internet, software, telecommunications and entertainment technology industries.

Jeffrey discussed with us typical considerations entrepreneurs should take into account when starting a business. Entrepreneurs should know each states rules and how they feel about them, the flexibility and “user-friendliness” of the jurisdiction’s laws & administrative agencies, and the administrative cost. For these reasons, Delaware is actually a very popular state for emerging companies. In Delaware there is a good understanding and flexibility of corporate law, and the judiciary has a rich and practicable body of case law interpreting and applying the laws.

Additionally, Jeffrey explained that the trade name is the name used by a business to identify itself. Entrepreneurs should reserve a trade name. A trademark is used for a business’ products or services and should be distinctive. To protect developed intellectual property trademarks, copyrights, and patents should be registered. Jeffrey stressed the importance of keeping trade secrets secret, which can be done by using confidentiality agreements. In terms of raising funds, a few options are common stock, which has the greatest risk but the greatest expected return, preferred stock, and debt, which is the least risky but has the least expected return.

Thank you so much to Jeffrey from the EA for your time and the valuable information you taught us at the workshop!