About This Book

This open-source ebook was created by Professor Samantha J. Prince to be used by anyone teaching Entrepreneurship or Startup Law. Professor Prince teaches Penn State Dickinson Law’s Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation course and used this book in conjunction with skills-based exercises. Due to the independent, practical, and experiential nature of this course (see Course Description below), the book is deliberately designed to ignite thought and require additional student research on each topic. As such, each unit does not provide complete coverage of each topic but rather provides material needed to serve as guidance and skill-building.


About the Author

Professor Samantha Prince is an Associate Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law. She has a Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and was a partner in a regional law firm where she handled transactional matters that ranged from an initial public offering to regular representation of a publicly-traded company. Most of her clients were small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs, including start-ups. An expert in entrepreneurship law, she established the Penn State Dickinson Law entrepreneurship program, is an advisor for the Entrepreneurship Law Certificate that is available to students and is the founder and moderator of the Inside Entrepreneurship Law blog. Her faculty bio can be found here.


Course Description

Students survey the legal issues confronted by entrepreneurs and develop the practical skills to effectively and ethically represent them during the start-up phase. Students study how to interview, counsel, plan, draft, and negotiate, by critiquing relevant readings and putting this to use in the context of client interactions and classroom simulations. Students also will draft relevant blog posts, client correspondence and memoranda typical of those that surface in small business and entrepreneur representation.



The words lawyer and attorney are used interchangeably in this ebook.

Gender-neutral pronouns are used.

Nothing in these materials are to be considered as legal advice. This ebook is for educational purposes only. By using or reading this ebook, you agree that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the author, Samantha Prince or Dickinson Law. This ebook is not a substitute for competent legal advice.



Special thanks to J. Haskell Murray, Associate Professor of Business Law and Ethics, Belmont University, Massey College of Business, for authoring Unit 9: Social Enterprises ; to Attorney Jeremy Ulm for authoring Unit 12: Protecting IP and Trade Secrets; and to Gad Weiss, who is currently in the JSD program at Columbia Law School for authoring portions of Unit 13. I am grateful that Professor Murray and Attorney Ulm took the time to share their expertise for the benefit of my students.

Many thanks and appreciation to: Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Innovation and University Libraries for providing the grant to create this book, and my instructional tech design team, Sara M. Davis, Instructional Designer, and Bradley Antill, Instructional Production Specialist, for their tremendous guidance and support.

Heartfelt thanks also to Adrianna Dunn and Lauren Stahl, my Teaching and Research Assistants, whose research and organizational prowess contributed greatly to this project; and, Cassidy R. Prince for her help with figures.



“This casebook is licensed “Creative Commons 0 / No Rights Reserved.” That means that I explicitly disclaim any copyright claim in the original elements that I created in authoring these materials and have intentionally placed the ebook in the public domain. Because this ebook is in the public domain, you can use the materials in it in any way that you like, preferably with attribution. Of course, the ebook contains many copyrighted elements that belong to other people and that I used pursuant to fair use. Those elements are still protected by copyright.


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To the extent possible under law, Samantha Prince has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation, except where otherwise noted.