Startup kits

As a new venture, you need to put all your time and energy into developing your product or technology and bringing it to market. Focusing on legal and intellectual property may not seem like a priority. But without focusing on these essential parts of your business, you may become vulnerable to competition or infringement. In addition, robust legal and IP protection will improve your chances of both short term investment and long term business success.

That’s where the startup kit is designed to help.  Tailored to your business and region, a startup kit will help ensure that you have the right protection and peace of mind – so you can focus on what you do best.

Depending on your specific situation, some of the items typically covered by a startup kit might include:

  1. Founders’ Agreements (Stock Purchase Agreement; Shareholders’ Agreements; Form of Stock Certificate)
  2. Corporate Formation Documents (Certificate of Incorporation; Bylaws)
  3. Agreements related to employees, consultants, and freelancers (Employment Agreement; Consulting Agreement; Confidential Information and Assignment Agreement)
  4. Website-specific agreements (Terms of Use, Privacy Policy)
  5. General Agreements (Non Disclosure Agreement; Term Sheet for funding rounds; Equity Compensation Agreements)

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As founder of a new venture, you are probably spending considerable energy on solving the technical, scientific or computing challenges. It is critical also to give thought to the legal and business obstacles that might get in your way. Three areas of particular importance to an early stage business are:

Business structure

Where and how you incorporate your business will have implications at all stages of your venture.

Contracts and agreements

Without the right founders agreements, non-disclosure agreements and employment contracts in place, you open the risk for problems relating to ownership or unfair competition.

Intellectual property protection

Without the appropriate patent, trademark or copyright protection, competitors can swoop in and copy the technology (even your name and brand). If that happens, then you have nothing to bring to the market.

Why are these important?

The importance getting these things right cannot be overstated as they protect your business from unfair competition, ownership disputes and other potential issues. In addition, Venture capitalists and investors often require that tech-based startups show that intellectual property and contracts are in order before giving funds. From their perspective, new businesses already face numerous challenges. Robust legal and IP protection are ways to lower the risks.

The good news is that, with the right expertise at hand, securing business, legal and IP help and protection for your greatest assets can ensure you are giving your business the best protection from Day 1!