Information on Start-ups and Early-Stage Business Financing

There’s been a lot of activity involving start-up and early-stage business finance that may be of interest to Tennessee business venturers and their legal counsel.  Set forth below are a few links to information about some of the recent events and developments along those lines provided to us by Tennessee Bar Association Business Law Section Executive Committee member Joan Heminway, a professor at The University of Tennessee College of Law.

  • A new financing instrument is being promoted for use in certain early-stage ventures out on the West coast.  The instrument has been labeled a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity).  It is a form of investment contract that is convertible into equity.  More information is available here.
  • Effective as of January 1, 2015, Tennessee has a new intrastate securities offering registration exemption—Invest Tennessee.  While you may have known about the new exemption, you may not know how it became law.  For the very interesting back-story, see here, here, and here.
  • On a related note, The University of Tennessee College of Law’s business law journal (Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law) recent hosted a program on crowdfunding described here.  The Fall 2015 issue of Transactions, which will be released in a few months, will feature a co-authored student article on Tennessee series LLCs which also is likely be of interest to the business finance practice community (and business lawyers generally).

If you have questions about any of these or related business finance matters, you can contact Professor Heminway at or 865-974-3813.

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