Entrepreneurial Finance

Entrepreneurship plays an important role in fostering innovation and economic growth.  Calfee’s experience in the entrepreneurial finance arena stems from a committed, strategic approach to knowing our clients and supporting their business goals. Defined by our substantial internal resources and external relationships, Calfee’s Entrepreneurial Finance group represents companies at each stage of the emerging company life cycle.  We are committed to being responsive, creative and efficient in negotiating and closing transactions for our clients.  Our cross-functional team of lawyers from different disciplines in the firm work together to provide emerging businesses with the comprehensive legal services required for successful business ventures.

In order to provide meaningful counsel, your lawyer needs to understand not just the legal issues you face, but your business and the realities of the competitive environment in which you operate.  At Calfee, we recognize that every client, opportunity and problem is unique.  We care about your business, project issues, and bottom line. We believe that Calfee can provide creative solutions that make a difference. 

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We assist emerging companies with:

  • Start-up and growth planning, including identifying and structuring an appropriate legal entity, assisting in the preparation of business plans and structuring and drafting agreements among stockholders and partners.
  • Securities law compliance and advice, including structuring the terms of corporate stock, partnership interests and other securities; representation in connection with the offer and sale of securities, including drafting private offering documents and federal and state securities law compliance; negotiating and structuring venture capital investments, debt instruments and other financing relationships; representation in initial public offerings; and securities law compliance by public companies.
  • Structuring and drafting employment, consulting and noncompete agreements, and drafting and providing advice regarding various types of stock option and other equity incentive plans, employee stock savings plans and other employee benefit plans.
  • Intellectual property services, including procuring, licensing and enforcing patents, trademarks and copyrights; counseling with respect to patentability, validity and infringement issues and developing strategic alliances.
  • Negotiating and structuring corporate partner relationships, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, distribution arrangements and franchising relationships.


Calfee’s network is a valuable resource for our clients. We have extensive relationships with angel investors, venture capital, private equity funds and investment banks. These relationships allow us to help design financing strategies for our start-up clients, including providing targeted referrals to investors and companies. We also have many relationships throughout the industries in which our clients operate, and can make introductions to potential customers and partners.

Intellectual Property

We are experienced in counseling clients on their businesses and intellectual property rights - from procuring, licensing and enforcing patents, trademarks and copyrights to validity and infringement issues.  Calfee has a breadth and depth of intellectual property experience which, we believe, is unsurpassed in the Great Lakes region.  Our experience in this arena includes patent prosecution, opinions, and portfolio reviews.  We also handle licensing, joint development and partnership agreements.  Though not always desirable, we represent clients in litigation to protect and defend their intellectual property rights.