Managing Legal Challenges on a Startup Board

My partner Brad recently released his latest book, Startup Boards – Getting the Most out of your Board of Directors.  This is a great book for people looking for advice on how boards should operate in the very fluid world of startups.

One of the areas that Brad focuses on are some of the legal challenges that present themselves while serving on a board.  What might seem easy “hey, don’t I just do the right thing and all is well and good?” becomes a lot harder when different people are added to the mix.  For instance, did you know that under certain circumstance the board can be personally liable for actions of the company?  Do you know what types of lawsuits are most likely in a startup company?

This book tackles the most important legal challenges including things like VC self dealing, down rounds and founder departures.  While all of these situations are tough, they are even worse with an inexperienced board.

As the lawyer-boy at Foundry Group, I’m a big advocate of getting smart on these issues and this book is a great resource.

  • Jason, I came to your blog because I know from the KFA Venture Deals course that you are also an attorney. It was great to find this post rather quickly as the matter of building an advisory board as a precursor to a board of directors has raised questions about potential legal issues like self-dealing.

    I will certainly add Startup Boards to my queue; I’ve seen YouTube talks Brad gave on the subject and they are great. But I’d also love it if you could elaborate on self-dealing / conflicts of interest related to both Advisory Boards and Board of Directors. For example, if an entrepreneur has a partnership with another entity, can an executive of said entity serve on the entrepreneurs advisory board?