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Common Agreements & Policies for any startup Legal Eagle to be kept in mind before you begin
1) Founder’s Agreement:
Most of the startup’s start not just with ideas but also among friends turned startup founders. Even though it’s good to start your dream business with your friend. But is advisable to get things straight to avoid any conflict on pity issues later.
A detailed thoughtful founder’s agreement is a solution to it. This agreement shall detail out about the cofounder’s role and responsibilities, contribution, ownership and responsibility of handling financial matters etc.
2) NDA ( Non disclosure agreement ):
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An NDA may come into picture during various stages before inception of company or in day to day business transactions with your employees and vendor partners.
A NDA is basically an agreement between the parties to essentially protect the confidential information shared. The most important aspect in any NDA is the definition of confidential information, as it will only define the scope and further terms and conditions of the agreement apart from few mandatory and common clauses.
Such as it is advisable to have an NDA executed before disclosing your business idea, finance with investors or your intellectual property such as inventions, trade secrets etc.
3) Financial Agreements:
Your share holder’s agreement, term sheet and equity dilution agreements or share transfer agreements needs to be drafted carefully in accordance to your suitable requirements.
4) HR policies:
Even if you are startup and do not feel any requirement for construction of proper HR policies, it is advisable to make clear and concise appointment letter for the employees listing out clearly their salary break up, roles and responsibilities, notice period, confidentiality and non compete clause etc.
5) Website Terms and conditions, Privacy Policies and Refund policies:
These are the most neglected area and generally people do not pay heed to the proper construction of these policies although a large part of these policies and terms remains same, but still all these policies must be made in accordance to the services you are providing, your product life cycle and industry standards.
As large portions of these policies create an image of your brand in your target customers, absence of these policies creates a suspicion among the users and a good policy keep a balance between your business interests also your customer comfort.
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6) IPR protections:
Generally startups do have budget constraint and they are think at they think about getting a trademark, copyright or patent later however each of these have their own rewards which cannot be measured in terms of money and mostly these legal protections are investments.