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Start-Up & Growth Business

New Zealand has a thriving startup ecosystem, fuelled by our innovative and forward thinking DNA.

The famed kiwi "number eight wire" mentality defined as our ability to think fast and solve problems, has scaled and evolved as the next generation of kiwi entrepreneurs and innovators are using technology and global connectivity to mobilise and transact at speed.

As the law firm at the centre of New Zealand's commercial and economic heartland, we work with clients across every stage of the business lifecycle from the ideation and incubation of startups through to IPO and exit. Tompkins Wake was named in the 2019 New Zealand Innovative Law Firms rankings for our pro-active and responsive approach to client service and our ability to think outside the square. We work with some of New Zealand's leading entrepreneurs, angel and venture capital investors, giving us a unique insight and perspective across the startup ecosystem.

In startup phase, the hustle and excitement of nurturing an idea into a plan, developing that plan into a minimum viable proposition and pitching that to potential investors and backers can mean that managing legal risk is often an afterthought or oversight. 

Our experience suggests that startup business success is significantly enhanced when the right structures and planning are in place from the outset.

We recognise that at this early stage, startups are looking for a legal solution that is straight forward and cost effective. 

1. Forming your Business: 

  • Advice on the potential corporate structures for your business
  • Registration of corporate structure (if applicable)
  • Documents applicable to your chosen structure, including a Shareholders Agreement and Constitution
  • Company secretarial package, including a share register template
  • Template IP register
  • Template contracts register

2. Launching your Product or Service:

  • Consultation with a lawyer to determine the type of documents required and a follow up to review the completed documents

3. Building your team and working with others

  • Consultation with a lawyer to determine the type of documents required and a follow up to review the completed documents
  • Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Non-disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement

4. Seeking investment - Family, Friends and Fans:

  • Consultation with a lawyer to determine the type of documents required and a follow up to review the completed documents
  • Subscription Agreement
  • Shareholder and Board resolutions as required

5. Protecting your Brand and IP:

  • Consultation with a lawyer to establish a strategy for your IP and a follow up to review the completed documents
  • Advice on IP protection
  • IP Assignment Agreement (if applicable)
  • IP Licence Agreement (if applicable)

As your business grows, and you accelerate your progress, we'll be there with everything you need, providing you with specialist legal assistance from commercial contracts, investment, banking and finance, employment to specialist innovation and intellectual property advice.

Contact our team below for an initial discussion on how we can help you and your startup accelerate.

Areas of expertise:

  • Capital Raising
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Commercialisation of Intellectual Property
  • Corporate Advisory
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Structuring/Restructuring
  • Due Diligence
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)
  • Financial Markets Conduct Act
  • Inbound Investment
  • Information Technology
  • Investment
  • Joint Ventures
  • Licensing of Intellectual Property
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • NZX Listing Advice
  • Overseas Investment
  • Ownership Structures
  • Private Equity
  • Regulatory Compliance and Constraints
  • Securities - Private Issues
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Technology Commercialisation
  • Trade Mark and Brand Strategy
  • Venture Capital
  • Brand Development and Protection
  • International Trade
  • Non-disclosure and Confidentiality Agreements
  • Terms of Trade
  • Software Licensing
  • Gaming Development

Start-Up & Growth Business team

Bryce Davey


Kerri Dewe


Mark Renner


Michael Shanahan


Phil Taylor


Tom Arieli


Ben Skelton

Special Counsel

Knowledge and insights

Tompkins Wake a triple winner at the 2021 NZ Law Awards

Friday 19 November, 2021


Tompkins Wake acts for Yabble on $3.2m bridge round

Thursday 9 September, 2021


Tompkins Wake new naming rights sponsor for Rotorua Business Awards

Wednesday 10 March, 2021


Tompkins Wake forms new regional partnership with The Icehouse

Thursday 4 February, 2021


Term Sheet for Convertible Note Financing

Monday 14 December, 2020


Term Sheet for Lead Investment


Tompkins Wake recognised for its commitment to innovation

Wednesday 8 May, 2019