Business Legal Services

Pre-Seed & Seed Funding Legal Support

Our seed funding solicitors are experts in helping ambitious businesses like yours get off the ground by ensuring all the legal i’s are dotted and t’s crossed when accessing early-stage investment.

We’ll advise you on how funding will impact your business in the future, whether it’s family and friends providing hands-off pre-seed funding, or you’re looking to partner with an investor who’s experienced in your sector. We’ll help you understand your options, make clear the costs and risk, providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions. 

But it’s not just about securing investment, our supportive and knowledgeable seed funding lawyers will help you build the right foundations as you scale your sales and marketing, grow your team and develop your offering.

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What we do: Pre-seed and seed funding

Our team of seed funding solicitors can provide you with the necessary expertise and support to move your business forward. As part of our legal services for pre-seed and seed businesses, we can:

Advise you how funding will impact your business in the future, including the considerations for different investment options such as debt, convertible loans, equity or a quasi-equity (hybrid).

We’ll explain the different funding stages from seed onwards, so that you’ll understand what each one means for your company’s growth and prospects.

Walk you through the steps needed to secure funding

This includes getting your company valued, creating a capitalisation table, and providing feedback on your business plan to help you meet any regulatory or investor requirements.

Help you evaluate whether the investor is right for you, bearing in mind your sector, track record and any risks involved.

Advise if you qualify for tax-advantaged schemes 

Such as the Enterprise Investment Schemes, and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes to attract investors, obtain advanced assurance and issue tax relief certificates.

Help you prepare your company with the necessary due diligence for a fundraise and deal with issues raised by potential investors.

Resolve any outstanding issues between you and your business partners and existing shareholders/investors

These relationships will have to be disclosed in your pitch and any problems sorted out, pre-pitch. For example, having clearly identified roles for existing founders, shareholders agreements and the formalisation of any existing loans or service agreements.

Resolve any issues around Intellectual Property Rights such as who owns what along with any current and planned registrations. 

Putting in place a clear IPR strategy will demonstrate the value in your business to investors.

Clearly define any third-party involvement before you go any further

If you’ve asked others to contribute to your business, whether that be creating part of your offer, lending you money, or working for you, their status should be clearly documented, and any outstanding obligations settled in a proper way.  

Explain how any state aid or grant funding will interact with the investment so that you continue to meet any qualifying criteria.

Ensure your business is funded in a tax efficient way by facilitating questions and discussing if it is necessary to take professional tax advice.

Advise on, prepare or update the necessary formalities and documents needed to complete the fundraise, from shareholders’ agreements to new Articles of Association and service contracts for your company. 

Explain the potential impact of employee share options on founders, investors and other stakeholders.

We understand the considerations of pre-seed and seed funded start-ups

Supporting start-ups is what we specialise in at Harper James. We understand the pressures and challenges you could face as you unlock your company’s growth potential. Working by your side, we’ll get to the bottom of these kinds of tricky issues that are common to most early-stage businesses: 

  • I’m really grateful for the help that I’ve had from others to get to this stage. But I need to get my business on a proper footing so that I can move forward in a professional way. What legal documents do I need to protect my rights while recognising their contributions?  
  • If I offer someone shares in my company in return for their help, what will I be committing to? 
  • How can I protect my business ideas? What’s involved in getting a patent and do I need one?  And how do I go about choosing a company name and making sure no-one else can use it? 
  • How do I choose company directors, and what are their duties? 
  • How much risk am I exposing myself to in my contracts with suppliers and customers? 
  • Can I take advantage of government-backed, tax-efficient schemes like the Enterprise Investment or Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes? What do I need to do to ensure my business qualifies for tax-advantaged funding?  

See our Seed Fundraising FAQs for more information.


Who we help

We aim to help start-ups at a critical time in their business’ growth. With our transparent pricing model, you can access expert City-grade legal advice from partner-level solicitors at a fraction of the cost of traditional law firms. We understand that during the early stages of growing your business you need to protect your interests as best you can, without impacting your cash flow. And you need a legal team you can rely on to be as passionate as you are about your business. 


Why work with our specialist seed and pre-seed funding solicitors?

We won’t waste your time or money with unnecessary complications

We know your time is precious, and you want to get back to running your business. Because we make start-up support a core part of our own offer, we know what you need to do to tailor your business for the journey ahead. And because our rates are tailored to small businesses, we make top-notch legal advice accessible for entrepreneurs like you.

We know what funders expect at each funding round 

Because our seed funding lawyers have negotiated hundreds of deals for our clients, we know what funders at each round expect you to commit to. You can trust us to show you how their needs may impact your business, and how, as you move through each stage, you achieve a deal that protects your interests and keep your investors happy.

We’ll help you avoid giving away too much in your rush to market

We get that you’re grateful for the help you’ve received so far. And maybe your friends or family have contributed time and money to get you where you are. But you need to make sure that you don’t give away too much of your business at seed or pre-seed stage. We’ll help you achieve the perfect balance by making sure any legal arrangements you put in place still let you develop your business the way you plan.

We can improve your attractiveness to investors

Understanding which types of funders are best for you is a must. Use us to help you pick the type of funding that’s best for you so that you’re an attractive proposition.

We’re experts in SEIS and EIS schemes

These schemes are highly beneficial for both entrepreneurs and investors. We can show you how to unlock the benefits of these schemes so that you have more cash available to fund your operations.


Testimonials

What our clients say

The flexibility of the enterprise plan works perfectly for us as a growing start-up. It’s like having your own in-house counsel without spending a fortune like other firms charge. Working with Callum Giliker on this funding round was incredibly easy and straightforward. Callum understood all our needs without us even having to voice it.
Dr. Francesco Colacino Co-Founder and CEO, Rheality
Harper James provides my small growing business with a scalable, reliable, team-oriented approach to legal advice. Whenever we face a problem, I know that Harper James are there to provide helpful and cost-effective advice, to scope out the options, make clear the costs and risks, and give me the information I need to make decisions.
Bryn Richards CEO, Aeristech
We were very impressed by the efficiency of the service we received. Having strong legal service support in place is vital for any business entering into a funding round.
Alexis Rog Co-founder, Sikoia
As a young and growing fintech company, there have been a number of legal matters that we have needed to manage; such as client contracts, employment contracts and fund raising from investors. We’ve used Harper James for around a year and they have provided us with very valuable support through several lenses, not least in our funding round in late 2017, where we raised £1million and Harper James managed the legal side of the transaction. We recommend them without hesitation.
Gareth Morgan Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Delio
When we were in the process of raising funds for our business venture, we were fortunate enough to have the support of Harper James. Their advice and guidance were extremely beneficial to us, and we’ve been impressed by their responsive service.
TJ Herbert CEO and Founder, Itchy Fish
I can’t sing our solicitor’s praises enough: fast, efficient, sensible and supportive. A quick and fair resolution to all queries that we have worked on together and would thoroughly recommend her to any of my contacts.
Samuel B Higgs Account Director, Signal Media
It was delightful working with Stephen and Callum on the fundraise. As an ex-investment banker, I’ve worked with many law firms and the legal process can be quite painful. We wanted to make sure our investors were protected and there were no delays with the raise. The fundraise was executed smoothly and Stephen and Callum were both very helpful. Callum was extremely bright. They both pointed out lots of things that we had missed.
Hana Salussolia Chief Operating Officer, Medisonal
The team at Harper James have demonstrated time and again that they have a deep understanding of the issues facing entrepreneurial businesses and their funding.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
Harper James swiftly solves problems with a minimum of fuss. I strongly recommend them and they are a pleasure to work with.
Jean de Fougerolles CEO, Ascension Ventures
The team provide great support throughout the funding process, providing straightforward and clear guidance on the issues to be addressed at each stage. The team was always at hand to make sure that that we understood what needed to be done to reach a successful outcome.
Chris Evans CEO, Kobus Services
We rely on Harper James to provide us with support across a full range of service areas, from commercial contracts and employment issues to fundraisings and investments. The team at Harper James are always available to provide us with cost effective, pragmatic and commercially focused advice.
Nick Holzherr CEO, Whisk.com
Knowing you have that level of legal support enables any new business to be able to move forward with more confidence. With Harper James we have that - and more.
Julian Cook CEO and Co-Founder, Howamigoing
We’d like to thank Harper James for all of their support throughout the investment deal process. As well as providing vital legal advice, Adam and the team at Harper James gave us guidance on the next steps of our growth, and we look forward to working with the team on a variety of projects in the future.
Scott Clifford Founder, Oneskee
Jas did an excellent job in pulling together what was a complex deal, not least because it involved co-ordinating parties in America, the UK and at the British Business Bank. But her perseverance and willingness to get the job done for us shone through and we were very impressed by the standard of service we received.
Peter Gerwe Investor, Storyfirst
What attracted me to Harper James was the pricing model they have in place. It means we get access to top legal professionals at prices we can afford. In our most recent funding round, the support we received was vital.
Mikhil Raja CEO, SonicJobs
The Enterprise Plan has been really useful for us. We’re always watching our burn because that early money is important to us as a start-up. We get high quality legal event advice that doesn’t compromise on quality. Also, having access to a distributed team who have previously worked at some very credible firms is great. Having access to that level of experience and expertise, but not having to pay traditional firm prices is excellent.
Andre Turville Founder & CEO, ARX Alliance
Brigitta’s always there, she listens and really understands us. In terms of turning things around quickly, it’s been fantastic. Speed was something that became very critical towards the end of the investment round. Bringing funding together when you've got a number of parties involved, especially keeping them happy, can be a stressful time. Brigitta was really supportive of that. We felt like she always had our best interests protected.
Andre Turville Founder & CEO, ARX Alliance
The flexibility of the enterprise plan works perfectly for us as a growing start-up. It’s like having your own in-house counsel without spending a fortune like other firms charge. Working with Callum Giliker on this funding round was incredibly easy and straightforward. Callum understood all our needs without us even having to voice it.
Dr. Francesco Colacino Co-Founder and CEO, Rheality
Harper James provides my small growing business with a scalable, reliable, team-oriented approach to legal advice. Whenever we face a problem, I know that Harper James are there to provide helpful and cost-effective advice, to scope out the options, make clear the costs and risks, and give me the information I need to make decisions.
Bryn Richards CEO, Aeristech
We were very impressed by the efficiency of the service we received. Having strong legal service support in place is vital for any business entering into a funding round.
Alexis Rog Co-founder, Sikoia
As a young and growing fintech company, there have been a number of legal matters that we have needed to manage; such as client contracts, employment contracts and fund raising from investors. We’ve used Harper James for around a year and they have provided us with very valuable support through several lenses, not least in our funding round in late 2017, where we raised £1million and Harper James managed the legal side of the transaction. We recommend them without hesitation.
Gareth Morgan Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Delio
When we were in the process of raising funds for our business venture, we were fortunate enough to have the support of Harper James. Their advice and guidance were extremely beneficial to us, and we’ve been impressed by their responsive service.
TJ Herbert CEO and Founder, Itchy Fish
I can’t sing our solicitor’s praises enough: fast, efficient, sensible and supportive. A quick and fair resolution to all queries that we have worked on together and would thoroughly recommend her to any of my contacts.
Samuel B Higgs Account Director, Signal Media
It was delightful working with Stephen and Callum on the fundraise. As an ex-investment banker, I’ve worked with many law firms and the legal process can be quite painful. We wanted to make sure our investors were protected and there were no delays with the raise. The fundraise was executed smoothly and Stephen and Callum were both very helpful. Callum was extremely bright. They both pointed out lots of things that we had missed.
Hana Salussolia Chief Operating Officer, Medisonal
The team at Harper James have demonstrated time and again that they have a deep understanding of the issues facing entrepreneurial businesses and their funding.
Charles Smith Director, Interpac Limited
Harper James swiftly solves problems with a minimum of fuss. I strongly recommend them and they are a pleasure to work with.
Jean de Fougerolles CEO, Ascension Ventures
The team provide great support throughout the funding process, providing straightforward and clear guidance on the issues to be addressed at each stage. The team was always at hand to make sure that that we understood what needed to be done to reach a successful outcome.
Chris Evans CEO, Kobus Services
We rely on Harper James to provide us with support across a full range of service areas, from commercial contracts and employment issues to fundraisings and investments. The team at Harper James are always available to provide us with cost effective, pragmatic and commercially focused advice.
Nick Holzherr CEO, Whisk.com
Knowing you have that level of legal support enables any new business to be able to move forward with more confidence. With Harper James we have that - and more.
Julian Cook CEO and Co-Founder, Howamigoing
We’d like to thank Harper James for all of their support throughout the investment deal process. As well as providing vital legal advice, Adam and the team at Harper James gave us guidance on the next steps of our growth, and we look forward to working with the team on a variety of projects in the future.
Scott Clifford Founder, Oneskee
Jas did an excellent job in pulling together what was a complex deal, not least because it involved co-ordinating parties in America, the UK and at the British Business Bank. But her perseverance and willingness to get the job done for us shone through and we were very impressed by the standard of service we received.
Peter Gerwe Investor, Storyfirst
What attracted me to Harper James was the pricing model they have in place. It means we get access to top legal professionals at prices we can afford. In our most recent funding round, the support we received was vital.
Mikhil Raja CEO, SonicJobs
The Enterprise Plan has been really useful for us. We’re always watching our burn because that early money is important to us as a start-up. We get high quality legal event advice that doesn’t compromise on quality. Also, having access to a distributed team who have previously worked at some very credible firms is great. Having access to that level of experience and expertise, but not having to pay traditional firm prices is excellent.
Andre Turville Founder & CEO, ARX Alliance
Brigitta’s always there, she listens and really understands us. In terms of turning things around quickly, it’s been fantastic. Speed was something that became very critical towards the end of the investment round. Bringing funding together when you've got a number of parties involved, especially keeping them happy, can be a stressful time. Brigitta was really supportive of that. We felt like she always had our best interests protected.
Andre Turville Founder & CEO, ARX Alliance

Why choose our seed funding solicitors?

Wherever you are in your start-upwe’ve got a member of our specialist team who’s been there before. We can offer expert advice, hands-on support, and access to our network of contacts. Our team of corporate solicitors has extensive experience and we’ve provided legal advice in numerous, high-profile transactions. Several of our lawyers have worked as in-house lawyers for venture capital firms so they know the VC landscape well. Find out more about our pre-seed and seed funding solicitors here: 


Pricing plans

Legal support designed
to fit your business needs

Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:

City

Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.

An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.

On-Demand

Providing you with priority access to a dedicated panel of highly experienced solicitors.

Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.




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Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

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To access legal support from just £145 per hour arrange your no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your business requirements.

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