Finance Small Enterprise (SC)

Section 1, Fall 15

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 39/44
Credits: 2

Course Description

Over 99% of the businesses in the United States are defined by the Small Business Administration as small businesses and the small business sector accounts for over half the U.S.’s GNP and employment. Almost all small businesses are private companies and their financing needs and options are substantially different from the needs of large public companies that are the subject of most law school courses dealing with business law and business finance. This course deals with the business and legal issues that arise in financing a small business from its startup to an eventual exit of the founder through a sale or IPO. This course is from the perspective of small business senior management and deals with the range of financing options and the pros and cons of each as a business is started and grows. The course is designed to provide the student with a better and broader understanding of the financing needs of the small business clients that they will serve in practice so that more effective legal advice can be provided.

The course will examine a range of business types from small manufacturing companies to emerging growth technology companies to service companies and will examine the differences between the different categories from a financing perspective including the differences between pre-revenue and post-revenue companies in each category. There will be particular emphasis on the different financial options available to each category of business at different stages in its life cycle including bank loans, commercial finance and factoring, leasing, commercial mortgages, angel equity financing and venture capital and the terms that normally are associated with these different types of financing. This examination of financing options will include an analysis of the risk associated with different financing options and an analysis of how different financing options can be connected in an overall financing strategy. In addition, the course will cover the valuation of businesses for financing purposes and the different types of valuation techniques.

The course will provide an introduction to this area through the eyes of a law school graduate who has been active in financing small businesses for 35 years as a banker, entrepreneur and most recently as the manager of a well-established angel group based in Charlottesville, Virginia with members throughout Virginia and the U.S. The course will include case study exercises designed to introduce students, working in teams, to the issues facing senior management of small companies as they seek to raise financing at various stages of their company life cycle. Guest lecturers will play an important role in this class and will provide students with a real-world perspective on the reality of entrepreneurs trying to finance their small businesses. During the course, guests will include both lawyers practicing in various areas of small business finance and law school graduates who, as small business CEOs, have successfully raised capital through a range of financing types.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any):
Description: None

Final Type (if any):

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Accounting and Corporate Finance or the equivalent strongly recommended, but not required. Corporations or Corporations (Law & Business) recommended, but not required. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With:
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
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Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: