Legal Expertise for Start-ups

Bright Idea

Bright Idea

The story began with a Polish company whose owners hit upon an innovative idea. They perfected their technology for months until deciding that the time was ripe for seeking the capital and the marketing support they needed. When they presented their product at a crowd-funding portal, the amount raised through Kickstarter surpassed their wildest expectations. Money flowed in from all over the world and the company was showered with invitations from Silicon Valley heavyweights. The clever entrepreneurs’ dream came true, but then they undercut themselves in structuring their business in the US. It is generally known that Americans invest in US companies, so the move in itself seemed right. What turned out to be a mistake was setting up a company online for solely $400 without obtaining legal advice. For the blunders committed in the process caused claims of the US Internal Revenue Service amounting to thousands of dollars in taxes. That inspired two lawyers to establish a firm specialised in transferring Polish start-ups overseas. Tytus Cytowski, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a New York State attorney, is well-versed in the inner workings of the law and investments in the US. His colleague, Tomasz Snażyk, is based in Warsaw, where he handpicks promising businesses. Their firm has offices in New York, San Francisco, Budapest and Warsaw. “Typical errors made by Polish companies targeting the US market include incorrectly appointed and identified governing bodies, a wrongly selected counterpart of a Polish limited liability company, inappropriate ownership structure,” says Tytus Cytowski, whose law firm is able to establish a business structure overseas in 24 hours without charging anything for the transfer. But there is no such thing as a free lunch: when start-ups prefer to spend $4,000 in the US on purposes other than legal service, attorneys offer to take up a small stake in the business. Then, already as investors, they facilitate contacts with US business angels. This ecosystem works efficiently. Cytowski LLC has already aided a few dozen companies. Global law firms have sniffed out a business opportunity too and the offer of legal assistance is ample. But legal multinationals do not give priority to start-ups, which creates a niche Snażyk wants to exploit turning his consultancy into the strongest boutique law firm in the region in a few years.
Puls Biznesu

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