Phillips Lytle has a long history of supporting startups, emerging growth companies and entrepreneurs, dating back to 1834 when our founder represented a small startup – Marine Bank – now a global financial institution, HSBC. Today, our multi-disciplinary team of attorneys provide counsel to companies from formation through validation and growth to strategic exit. Our depth of knowledge and expertise across a diverse set of practice areas allows us to creatively execute your business strategy.

Our attorneys have a strong network of resources with venture capital firms and angel investors that support our clients and assist with the advancement of their businesses.

We also have strong relationships with accelerators and incubators in numerous locations in which Phillips Lytle has offices, including:

  • 43North
  • Access Silicon Valley – New York City
  • Communitech Hub – Waterloo Region of Canada and New York City
  • Fredonia Technology Incubator
  • FuzeHub
  • IgniteU NY
  • Launch NY
  • NYBizLab
  • REVEAL (Rensselaer Emerging Ventures Ecosystem Accelerator Lab)
  • Spark Saratoga

Additionally, our office at the Communitech Hub, in the Kitchener, Waterloo region of Canada, allows us to open doors to startups that need legal advice and business counsel focusing on expanding operations outside of the Canadian market.

We lecture extensively on topics related to the start-up scene, including venture capital and angel investing to national and local groups, as well as undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs. Several of our attorneys serve as judges and mentors at various business plan competitions in New York State and Canada.

Depending on the needs of your company, we have the ability to assist you.

Entity Formation

  • Capital structure
  • Commercialization
  • Entity selection
  • Formative counseling
  • Licensing
  • Technology transfer


  • Angel financing
  • Capital agreements and private placements
  • Financing agreements
  • Future growth financing via IPO or sale transaction
  • Mezzanine and bridge financing
  • Securing venture capital
  • Series Seed and Series D Rounds
  • Strategic investors

Product and Brand Protection

  • End-user license agreements
  • Intellectual property strategy
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Patent clearance and analysis
  • Trademark clearance and registration


  • Distribution and reseller agreements
  • Licensing and technology transfers
  • Online terms and conditions
  • Outsourcing
  • Product commercialization
  • Service agreements

Corporate Governance

  • Lease agreements
  • Legal compliance
  • Securities
  • Tax


  • Compensation arrangements
  • Immigration issues
  • Labor and employment advice and counseling

Ongoing Counsel

  • Business plan execution
  • Growth management
  • Manufacturing capabilities deployment
  • Personal planning

Phillips Lytle has represented entrepreneurs in a broad range of industries including:

  • CleanTech
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Software applications
  • Technology


To show our commitment to emerging companies, Phillips Lytle has developed the IGNITe! Program. There’s no question that startups need the right legal partner to get off the ground. But help at the beginning is just the start of what the IGNITe! Program can offer your company. Our team of attorneys will customize a package of services that will assist in executing your business strategy while understanding the limits and challenges a start-up company faces.

Practice Area Icon: Startups