The Buzz with Frank A. Ciatto and Joseph B. Walker of Venable, LLP

Frank A. Ciatto is a partner with Venable who helps entrepreneurs succeed in new business ventures.  Joseph B. Walker is an associate with Venable whose practice focuses on corporate transactional matters. Venable, LLP is a sponsor of WDCEP’s $100,000 Business Plan Competition. Their sponsorship includes $10,000 of legal services.

Venable is generally known as one the country’s largest law firms. What kind of services do you provide for Small Businesses?

Since its founding more than a century ago, Venable has provided legal counsel to companies of all sizes. Over the years, we have helped numerous small companies in DC and the surrounding area grow into national and international leaders in their industries.

Venable provides a full suite of services for small businesses, including corporate structure and tax advice; assistance with financing (private and public); intellectual property counseling; employee relations and benefits; regulatory, legislative; real estate matters, litigation and other legal issues.

Our services help companies build value, avoid hazards and network with investors and other advisors, freeing up entrepreneurs to move quickly in implementing their business plans.

Having worked with many small businesses in the DC area, what do you feel makes the entrepreneurial community of Washington, DC unique?

Small businesses in the DC area are uncommonly well positioned for success. No matter what industry the companies serve, the area’s demographics provide access to large, diverse and affluent pools of customers. Adding to the advantages for small businesses in the DC area is close proximity to the federal government and the companies that contract with it.

The breadth of opportunity in the DC area has created a unique entrepreneurial community with no one center of gravity. From technology to professional services, real estate, hospitality and government contracting, if you have a good plan and are willing to work hard, you can succeed in DC.

What message does Venable LLP want to convey to the Washington, DC entrepreneurial community?

Venable actively advises DC-based companies including start-ups, family owned and operated companies and other closely-held businesses, as well as Fortune 100 companies. Our business lawyers offer a blend of legal, accounting, finance and tax experience in response to the entrepreneurial community’s demand for efficiency. We understand the DC business environment and we know that small businesses drive the American economy. We want to work with you.

Venable, LLP has been supporting the Washington, DC Economic Partnership’s Business Plan Competition since its inaugural year, this year’s Competition is aimed at highlighting businesses that leverage federal policy. How does Venable help clients take advantage of new policies that promote Business opportunities?

Venable understands government contracting as well as any other firm in DC. In fact, we have established a government contractor services group specifically to meet the comprehensive legal needs of companies doing business with the government. This group provides legal counsel not just on the contracting issues, but also on M&A / Corporate issues, partnerships and joint ventures, tax, employee benefits and labor and employment issues specifically for companies contracting with the government.

One thing that sets Venable apart from other firms advising small businesses seeking to do business with the government is our leadership of the Small Business Coalition for Fair Contracting. Venable is working aggressively to ensure that new policy initiatives do not inadvertently punish small businesses for being small. We are working to ensure that the contracting decisions about which work contractors perform and which work government employees perform remains fair and protects opportunities for entrepreneurs growing their business in the federal space.

For more information, please visit Venable’s website, at

Posted Under: DC News