You’re about to launch the next Facebook, the Uber for category X or the AirBnb for [whatever]. You’re a great entrepreneur, but this doesn’t automatically make you a legal specialist. And boy, is there a lot of legal business to take care of. Wendy Bogers is CEO of Ligo, which we recently covered after launching their new legal checklist Workflows. She shared some of the most common legal phenomenons to keep in mind when running or forming a startup.
1) Have a solid agreement with your co-founders
We get it. You’re the best friends in the world and together you’re ready to change the world. Nothing will come between you. The unspoken bond between you is enough of an agreement. Except for when it isn’t. Bogers: “We see startups approaching us without any written shareholders agreements. Or very basic ones, gathered from some random website.” This isn’t going to cut, according to Bogers. No matter how good you work together, a written agreement between shareholders is essential. Who gets what, when someone decides to leave the company? Against what price can a share be offered to the remaining shareholders? Bogers: “We recently heard of a startup that was in business for half a year, when one of the founders got ill and had to quit. Because there was no proper agreement, he took half of the shares after half a year work. You really don’t want to think about these agreements when you start a business, but trust me: you should.”