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Welcome to the “BM for Startups” project by Baker McKenzie Prague

The program is intended for startups in the area of IT and online services or new technologies – generally, for IT and technology startups.

The purpose of this project is to give you, as the founders and operators of such startups, a free advice and an idea of the basic legal issues relating to IT and technologies, and help you avoid the major mistakes we have seen startups make in the past.

To put it simply, our ambition is to help you through our free package with the most important legal and tax aspects of your business.

If you would like to participate in the program, please find the details below. We look forward to seeing you!

Why have we devised "BM for Startups"?

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The Czech Republic is a hotbed of incredible ideas and technology solutions. It has been our experience, however, that these solutions often need to be addressed in legal and tax terms before they can be introduced to the market or sold to an investor to avoid any future disputes or even lawsuits.

Experienced entrepreneurs are usually aware of such risks and take steps to mitigate them. However, authors and operators of technology and IT startup projects often do not have enough funds to pay for legal know-how. They simply do not think at the beginning about how their product or service will continue to develop. For instance, they underestimate the fact that their company may grow to be larger one day and they may want to withdraw from the project, or enter into a relationship with an investor requesting guarantees which they are not able to offer. Or they do not take timely measures to protect their know-how, which may then be compromised by their colleagues. There are numerous examples of such situations. Unfortunately, some of these mistakes are impossible to remedy at later stages.

This is why we have devised the “BM for Startups” project. We are sure that this cooperation will be interesting and beneficial for both parties. We have unique legal know-how that we will share. And cooperating with you will make it possible for us to learn about the major issues that Czech startups face and about the development trends in the Czech Republic; we may also encounter new issues, which will be an opportunity for us to search for new solutions. And thanks to you, we may also witness the beginnings of great new things.

What will you gain from the program?

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As part of this project, we will provide you with the following:

  • Meeting and Analysis: We will meet with you and provide you with a basic analysis of your issue in the total extent of up to three hours of our lawyers’ work.

  • Template Documents: We will provide you, free of charge, with templates of up to 3 documents dealing with your issue as identified during the analysisn(contracts, recommendations, etc.) or revision and modification of documents that you already use.

  • Discount on Our Services: As participants in the program, we will provide you with an exclusive offer of our legal services at a preferential rate.

As part of the program you will have a chance to resolve your issue with the help of top lawyers who are recognized experts in the area of information technology and intellectual property law; our team consists of lawyers with 20 years of experience in the field, who have advised a number of international IT and technology companies as well as startup projects, serve as arbitrators in IT and IP disputes and, most importantly, speak “your language.”

We will be available to you for an approximately two-hour meeting. During this meeting you may discuss any specific issue you are struggling with and obtain legal advice or recommendations. Or, if you have no particular issue in mind, we can discuss the kind of activities you engage in and what to expect and what to avoid.

Our tax specialists may also take part in the meeting. They will outline the accounting and tax aspects specific to your line of business, issues which, should you not be aware of them, could lead to financial losses in the future (such as when exiting from a company).

If your issue relates to another area of law, for instance, labor law, we will attempt to invite colleague(s) to the meeting who are specialized in the given area.

If we have a relevant template document relating to your issue, we will make it available to you. We may even allow some more time for the meeting if necessary – it is important to us that the meeting is useful for you and that our legal advice is focused, practical and applicable.

In the end, you will obtain:

  • Legal advice summarizing the steps you should undertake, or avoid;

  • Recommendations of the most suitable procedures with respect to your legal issue;

  • Documents suitable for use in your business (templates, opinions, etc.) or tailored to your legal problem (revision and modification of already used documents) or a combination of the above.

This package is free of charge for participants in the program. Program participants may also use the legal services of Baker McKenzie, Prague at advantageous rates for a period of 12 months.

What experience can we offer you?

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In its practice, Baker McKenzie assists clients with all aspects of their businesses. These aspects include those relating to information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) law.

As all business activities have tax implications which directly affect your finances, our team also includes tax specialists with many years of experience in the field of IT and online services.

We have extensive practical experience in representing clients that order products or services in this area (IT solution users) as well as clients offering such products or services (IT solution providers). Our assignments relate to tailor-made software and information system supply, purchase and maintenance of hardware, software development and licensing, software escrow, maintenance and administration of software or entire IT units, including SLA, SaaS, DaaS, cloud-computing, customization, e-shops, website building tools, and products subject to cyber safety regulation.

Over the past decades, we have acquired unique knowledge as part of this varied practice.

The same goes for other technological startups, which we have assisted particularly in areas relating to industrial rights, business secrets and know-how, including in the form of designing a strategy for the protection of inventions by patents or utility patterns, a strategy for the protection of designations of services or products by trademarks or industrial designs, and others.

  • Team: Our experts specialized in a given area will be at your service – IP/TMT law, data protection, tax law, trademark protection, etc.

  • Experience: The team members have long-term experience in the area of their legal specialization and are experienced in providing legal assistance to startups.

  • Awards: The team has received a number of global and local awards, such as Tier 1 in IP and TMT and Global IP Firm. The team has been in Band 1 for IP in the past 12 years and for TMT, Data Protection and Outsourcing in the past 13 years.

Who is the program designed for?

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The program is designed for applicants meeting all of the below requirements:

  • They conduct business in the area of IT or online services, including operating e-shops, or new technologies;
  • They are a Czech legal entity or an individual entrepreneur;
  • They have existed as a legal entity for at least 3 months;
  • Their annual turnover is no more than CZK 50 million;
  • They have fewer than 50 collaborating persons (employees and self-employed persons);
  • They are of an unimpeachable character and without any insolvency history (they have not been subject to insolvency proceedings resulting in the declaration of bankruptcy);
  • The partners, beneficial owners or other stakeholders are of an unimpeachable character.

If you are interested in our program, but are not sure whether you meet the above requirements, do not hesitate to contact us anyway.

How can you apply?

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Please contact us using the form provided on our website www.bmprostartupy.cz, or by e-mail at BMproStartupy@bakermckenzie.com. We will get back to you with information on what to do next.

Who will be admitted to the program?

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Participants will be admitted to the program:

  • Who comply with the terms and conditions of the program as described above (we will verify this from public sources);
  • With whom Baker McKenzie has no conflict of interest;
  • Where consent is required to verify certain information, only participants having granted such consent will be admitted.

The capacity of the program will be 21 participants (however, we may extend the program in the future). We will inform all the participants if they have been admitted to the program.

What about confidentiality?

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Everything you disclose to us and everything we get to know from you otherwise is, and will remain, strictly confidential. We are under a statutory confidentiality obligation. Nevertheless, we are aware that when we meet we may discuss your ideas, solutions, innovations or original concepts – your trust is essential to us, and we will conclude an additional confidentiality agreement with you should you so wish.

How long will the program last?

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The program was launched on 20 September 2020. The program has no time limit.

Obligatory Legal Note

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We reserve the right not to admit an applicant to the project without providing any reason; however, you will be duly informed of such non-admittance.

This document in itself does not constitute a public offering of legal services and does not bind us to provide legal services or allow anyone to become involved in the project.
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