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Coursera

Law and the Entrepreneur

Northwestern University via Coursera

Overview

Are you a passionate entrepreneur with a new business idea, but feeling intimidated by the law?  Or perhaps you are a lawyer or aspiring lawyer looking to break into the exciting world of start-ups?  This course addresses the legal aspects of entrepreneurship, and is appropriate both for entrepreneurs and lawyers who hope to represent entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs face many challenges as they pursue a new business idea.  With the right legal tools, they can take steps that provide significant legal protections and avoid future liability.  Among other subjects, the course will cover American law on choice of entity (corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship), selection of a company name and trademark, protecting intellectual property of the business with patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright law, structuring agreements among owners, venture capital and other equity and debt financing arrangements, and the relationship between attorneys and entrepreneurs. In addition to discussing applicable legal rules, the course will focus on practical steps entrepreneurs and their lawyers can take to build and protect a new venture.  The goal of the course will be for students to have a better understanding of practical ways they can protect a new venture and spot potential issues from a business-legal perspective.


Syllabus

Week One

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship Law
  • The Personality of the Entrepreneur
  • Leaving an Employer to Start a Business

Week Two

  • Choosing and Forming an Entity
  • Agreements Among Owners

Week Three

  • Intellectual Property: trademark, copyright, patent, trade secret, and nondisclosure agreements

Week Four

  • Financing a New Venture

Week Five

  • Hiring Workers and Employment Law

Week Six

  • Conducting Business Online
  • Final Thoughts

Taught by

Esther Barron and Steve Reed

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Reviews

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  • Judith Metz is taking this course right now, spending 40 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

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