Founder and Partnership Agreements
You supply the talent, ideas, and ambition. We’ll supply the legal guidance to help your startup with formation, IP protection, and growth strategies.
For any entrepreneur, deciding to go into business with colleagues or friends is a big and exciting step. It’s important, however, to keep your eye on the business side of things. While contracts and legal formalities may not be nearly as fun as watching your dream become a reality, having the right agreements in place is critical to the success of your company.
Chances are, you’re launching your business with people you know and trust. For many, it’s hard to imagine that these relationships could ever go downhill or end in disagreements. The reality, though, is that businesses encounter unexpected conflicts all the time. When no contingencies have been put in place to account for these possible disputes, it’s the business that suffers.
That’s why it’s so crucial to have proper agreements in place from day one. What seem like boring formalities now are the only things that will truly protect your business interests in the future.
Outlining the Future of Your Company
Whether a business is formed as a partnership, an LLC, or any other form of entity, the co-founders need to make sure that they’re on the same page before they take the plunge of going into business together. As with any prospective relationship, planning for future contingencies will save you a lot of time and stress months or even years down the road.
Founder and partnership agreements are often thought of as the prenuptial agreements of the business world. It’s not enough that you and your co-founders share a mutual desire to run a successful business and make money. You need to make sure that you’re in agreement with respect to how the business will be run.
Some of the main issues that partnership or founder agreements often address include:
- The overall vision or goal for the company;
- Setting ownership percentages and deciding how they work;
- Determining who will contribute things like money, time, labor, or property;
- Defining the roles and responsibilities of the founders;
- Setting salaries and profit distributions, if any;
- Establishing how key company decisions will be made, and what decisions will require unanimous agreement;
- Selecting a dispute resolution mechanism;
- Defining the process for a partner leaving or being removed from the company, and what happens to his or her ownership shares;
- Outlining a procedure for adding new partners or hiring employees;
- Deciding how the business can be sold or terminated.
This list is far from exhaustive. Your founding agreements should focus on the issues that you consider most integral to your company’s success. Failing to provide for later bumps in the road could be the death knell of your business when you inevitably reach an impasse.
Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
In an age where the Internet places everything we need at our fingertips, it might be tempting to simply download and sign one of the countless founder or partnership agreement templates that you can find online. But while that may be easy, it would also be a mistake.
Every business is unique. The needs and goals of your business aren’t the same as those of your neighbor, so why would the same cookie-cutter agreement work for both of you? Businesses are creatures of contract, and those contracts should be tailored exactly how you want them to be.
We understand that the legal formalities associated with starting a business can seem overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of someone who knows the process inside and out. We’ll help you customize your partnership or founder agreement to your specific needs, setting you on the path to success by ensuring that your company starts off on the right foot.
How we helped vlada
“Gouchev Law has a very unique, hard to find blend of skills that every entrepreneur wants in a law firm: legal acumen, business savvy and a great attitude. Definitely will be working with them as we grow our business!”
Vlada Lotkina, Classtag
the nitty gritty
We know that understanding what legal documents and protections you need is not your jam. Relax: we’ve got you covered.
- Strategic Entity Formation (Corporation, S-Corporation or LLC)
- Customized corporate bylaws and LLC operating agreements
- Founder and Partnership Agreements
- Angel Round Financing
- Crowd Sourced Financing
- Shareholder and Stock Purchase Agreements
- Private Placement Memorandum
- Equity Compensations Review & Negotiation
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Dissolving or Converting Entities
- Separation Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Commercial Leases
- Buying and Selling a Business
- Joint Venture Agreements
- Loan Promissory Notes
- Independent Contractor, Consulting & Client Service Agreements
- Partner Disputes and Forced Buyouts
Packages to Fit Your Needs
If you’re like most startups, you can’t break the bank on legal fees. Our interest is helping you grow your empire, and so we offer a range of affordable flat-fee packages for startups, beginning with our Entrepreneur Start-Up Package, which includes forming your company, drafting your operating agreement and more. We can custom create a package that is the perfect fit for your startup needs.
Trusted Counsel At Your Side
As your startup grows, we’ll be right there with you, providing continuing counsel to you and your company as you face new opportunities and challenges. Every great journey comes with its fair share of tests and growing pains, but with Gouchev Law at your side, you can face them all. We will help you to create partnerships that maximize your growth while protecting your interests, develop and defend trademarks and patents, and scale your business into new markets.
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