Start-Up Entrepreneur Series: Where Should I Form My New Business?

In the Start-Up Entrepreneur Series, I will be taking a deeper look into some of the most common questions early stage founders face in putting together and operating their new businesses. For more information, check out www.hoeglaw.com or drop Rick a line at rhoeg@hoeglaw.com

One of the most common questions I receive from folks looking to start their first business (or who were not previously included in organizational discussions) is “Where should I form my Company?”.

Like most legal questions, the answer can be complicated (and must always be tailored to the specific facts and circumstances at hand), but there are a few “rules of thumb” that should be considered at the start.

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Start-Up Law and Game Development: The Ann Arbor Game Developers Forum

Well, it looks as though I am officially one of those blog folks who posts (infrequently) primarily to apologize for not posting.  Sorry about that.  Cliche though it may be, starting a new law firm and building up a practice is not as worry-free and leisurely as one might expect.  Still, I’m going to do my best to post here more regularly, as being out there and involved in the community is one of the major reasons I started Hoeg Law.

Which brings me to the reason for this post.

I was recently invited to a wonderful gathering of both current and burgeoning game developers at SPARK East in Ypsilanti, Michigan to talk for a bit on why and when new entrepreneurs might need to consult with a corporate lawyer.  I entitled this presentation “Virtual Legality” and have included a copy below.  Though perhaps a little dry without the speechifying that accompanies it (and who doesn’t love to hear lawyers talk), it does present a good overview of what to look out for when starting a business, whether that business be in game development or widget manufacture.

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What’s in a Name? Pt. 2

In the immortal words of Han Solo, “Here’s where the fun begins.”

The rules that govern the courtroom and the contract are, at the end of the day, not so different from the rules that govern our sports, our video games, our card games, and even our stories.  Explicit legal rules are more complex and the impact of failing to understand them more significant, to be sure, but the act of analyzing them, of thinking about how they affect the world of the “game”, of working through how they might govern thought processes and behavior, is very similar…if not exactly the same.

And that’s where the “Game” in “Rules of the Game” comes in.

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What’s in a Name? Pt. 1

So why “Rules of the Game”?  After all, corporate transactional lawyers aren’t generally known for their frivolity, and most think of games as just that, trivial exercises in fun-making that have little bearing on our day-to-day lives.  In truth, the name was chosen for two reasons, only one of which was really focused on the fun (and we’ll get to that in Pt. 2). The other (and arguably more important) reason was to answer a question we’ve faced from any number of our prospective clients:  “Why do I need a lawyer?”.

Watching Law and Order, the Good Wife, Suits, or any of television’s other approximately 4 million legal dramas, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why you would want a lawyer when facing litigation or prosecution.  Apart from their dashing good looks and above-board approach to justice and ethics  (we’re talking about the TV versions here), only lawyers understand the ins and outs of our oft byzantine court system and the rules that can help exonerate (or condemn) their clients.  After all, while one may have dreams of shouting “hearsay”, “objection”, or “facts not in evidence” at their local court judge, it is the lawyer that knows what those terms mean and when it might be appropriate to shout them.

But we at Hoeg Law are (as I’ve had to explain to disappointed family and friends) “not those kind of lawyers” (TM).  Still, the notion of needing to understand the “rules” of corporate governance and of contract law is just as important (and potentially more so given their less obvious and apparent nature), especially when millions of dollars are on the line.

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Hello World!

It is my absolute pleasure and privilege to be writing to you live (at least “Internet live”) on behalf of The Hoeg Law Firm (aka “Hoeg Law”), a brand new law firm providing legal services for businesses in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan.

First, a little about me.  My name is Richard Hoeg (though I usually go by Rick), and I have been practicing corporate law continuously in Ann Arbor, Michigan since graduation near the top of my class at the University of Michigan Law School in spring of 2005.  From 2005 through 2016 I worked at some of Michigan’s biggest and most prestigious business law firms, and ultimately became an equity partner in Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn’s corporate law practice group.  As a lover of all things technological and Internet-based, you can expect to hear mostly from me on this blog and our other social media outlets, but you may yet see some guest entries from a few other interested parties as well (if I have my way).

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