I started a startup with 3 others co-founders. What are the lists of legal documents that will be needed binding co-founders?

It’s hard to say without knowing the details of your startup (state of incorporation, type of business entity, the industry, size of company, etc.). Here is a list of some important docs that startups typically utilize in this situation though:

Invention Assignment Agreements assign the new company all IP ownership of relevant work product created by employees after the company’s formation. A confidentiality and invention assignment agreement is typically signed by founder(s) and employees. The agreement provides the company will own all rights to the intellectual property (IP) portfolio.

Founder’s Agreements attempt to avoid any conflict among the founders. All co-founders should sign an operating agreement, which should define the relationship of the founders, provide the expectation that work will belong to some entity in the future and outline a basic conflict-resolution clause that can help prevent disputes between the parties.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) are important from day one as they protect your startup by safeguarding your founder and employees’ ideas and your IP. An NDA should specify, at the very least, what constitutes as confidential info, who owns it, and the time period confidentiality will be maintained.

Employee Contracts can be used for a co-founder depending on the structure of your startup and the responsibilities of your cofounder. It typically states the compensation, terms of employment, and a recital of other relevant benefits.

Stock Purchase Agreement regulates the sale and transfer of the startup’s shares. It covers items such as who has the right of first refusal, and provides a mechanism for the redemption of the shares for shareholders who becomes, among other things, bankrupt, discharged, resigns, retires, becomes incapacitated, or dies. As Gil and Mike pointed out, a stock purchase agreement usually includes a bunch of other important attachments.

Here at LawTrades we deal with this stuff on a daily basis. Stop by our site at any time for a free no obligation price quote for any and all the legal issues looming for your startup. We will do everything we can do to ensure the legal aspects of your company are strong from the start, while not breaking your bank account.

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