Beware High Fees for Help Raising Capital

In developing an alternate-fuels engine, I came across a transportation and fuels consultant who says he can help me raise the capital to prove my design. He proposed a three-year contract for $15,000 up front and 25 percent of the first round of funding. I declined, so he has agreed to 25 percent of money raised, nationally or internationally, and 5 percent of second-round funding. How do I know if this is standard? ­—D.C., Napa, Calif.

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