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What kind of attorney should I seek to draw up startup documents? And what kind of documents do I need?

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If you have that entrepreneurial spirit, then you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot that goes into getting your startup off the ground. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than just determination and grit to get things rolling. You’ll also need organization and the appropriate documents to protect yourself. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry; countless people have been in your shoes.

You’ll likely need more startup documents and contracts filed over time, but here is a simple breakdown of some of the ones you should have in place sooner rather than later.

Company Bylaws for Incorporation: Your state probably has laws in place requiring you to have a record of your bylaws. Basically, bylaws are how your company plans to govern itself. Even if this isn’t a requirement in your state, you could save yourself time and energy in the future if you structure this before there’s a problem to solve.

Non-Disclosure Agreements: This may not seem like a big deal now, but I promise you that there are some elements of your business that you want to remain private. You’ll want something in place to protect the vulnerable information of your company, and an NDA is an excellent place to tart.

Business Plan: If you want any hope of getting financing, then you have to have a business plan. While this isn’t a required legal document, it’s certainly something that will save you a ton of time and energy later on. This document can be as straightforward or as complex as you need it to. Keep in mind; you just need to explain the plan for your business. What are you planning to do, and how do you plan to do it?

Employee Agreement: One of the critical components of being a great business owner is your ability to avoid disputes. You can do this by having an employee agreement on hand. This document simply outlines the expectation of the employee and can help you resolve problems quickly in the future.

This may feel like a lot of work—and it is! But you should take the time to have a few startup documents in place so you can focus on other areas of your company. Need help? You’ll want to talk to a business lawyer who has extensive experience with startups.

Have a business and looking to take the next step with funding? Check out:  Where do I find an investor who would invest in a business plan and idea?


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