Brace the list:Must Have Legal Documents for any Startup/ SME

The thought of starting own startup can feel very exciting, so exciting at times, that we overlook the fact that business needs to be have necessary legal documents in place to be able to conduct its business in a compliant and risk protected manner. The list of such documents can be very long, however team Startward has put together some of the key ones below:

  1. Co-Founders Agreement – This is a desired agreement if there are cofounders in the startup/company and must capture all the understanding amongst cofounders on all matters of roles, responsibilities, dispute resolution, exit, share vesting so on an so forth.
  2. Employee Appointment Contract: This is the document which states the contract for work between the employer and the employee and helps serve the right expectation about the role, responsibility and process and terms of exit. Having everything documented avoids any misinterpretation later.
  3. Employee NDA and NCA: Non-Disclosure Agreement(NDA) are agreements that are signed between parties who are going to work together and makes sure that both the parties may use each other’s knowledge, but cannot exploit it for their benefit. Non-Competence Agreement(NCA) are agreements that ensures that the other party cannot exploit the information acquired during the negotiation. The company needs to make sure that their employees don’t go out and share sensitive information with outsiders or competitors.
  4. Employee Promotion Letter: These are letters informing employees about their promotions and increment in salaries. These are important to be drafted so that the employer does not in future face backlash from employees about
    their agreed salaries.
  5. Employee Exit Documents: These are the documents that the employee needs to sign at the time of resignation acknowledging his/her departure. This also includes NDA, experience letter and a few other things.
  6. Leave and License or Rent Agreement: These are the documents that allow one party to use the immovable assets of the other party for some time or rent them for their use.
  7. Workspace Sharing Contract: This is an agreement that allows several companies to share their working space in order to reduce their individual rents.
  8. Trademark Agreement Deed: This is the legal document between a trademark owner and another party who is going to use it on pre-approved terms.
  9. Franchise Agreement: This is a legal document between a franchisee and a franchisor where the franchisor agrees to grant the franchisee the company name and system in return for a percentage of the profit.
  10. Software License Agreement: It is the legal document between the licensor and the buyer of the software which states the details of how and when the software can be used, what are the restrictions on its use.
  11. Freelance Agreement: An agreement between a freelancer and a company, which outlines the various terms and condition regarding the work undertaken by the freelancer. This helps to build a strong and fair relationship between both the parties.
  12. Business NDA: When two businesses decide to work together, both of then need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement which will make sure that none of them might exploit each other’s knowledge for their own profit or disclose it to someone else.
  13. Takeover of Business Agreement: This is the document regarding the acquisition of a business by an individual or another company and explains the way the acquisition was made (stocks, assets, etc.). It states the all the debts and the profit now belong to the buyer of company.
  14. Memorandum of Understanding: This is the agreement done for some business partnership and on agreement of certain contracts. It indicates the common line of action between the two parties and is the beginning of legal agreement.
  15. Website Use Terms & Condition: The website terms and conditions agreement details the license of the copyright in the website, includes a disclaimer of liability, an acceptable use clause, a variation clause, a clause specifying the applicable law and jurisdiction and other legal information.
  16. Website Privacy and Refund Policy: These are used in websites to let the visitors know about data security and that any information they put in will not be unethically used in any manner. Refund policy will describe the whole refund process and if there are some processes where refund will not be provided and any related information.
  17. General Power of Attorney: General power of attorney gives authority to a certain individual (called the agent) to act on behalf of the company when it is not able to take the decision on its own.
  18. Specific Power of Attorney: When the power of attorney is given for some specie task/s and not for a pool of matters then it is called specific power of attorney.