You are ready to launch your business but you don’t know which legal documents you need or how to get them. You want to be sure you have everything necessary to save you a world of hurt.
Need a compliance checklist?
Here it is!
Which legal documents do you need?
The Memorandum of Association – Articles of Association – Certificate of incorporation
These legal documents enable you to set-up your business:
- The certificate of incorporation incorporates your company under the Companies Act 2006 as a legal entity. You should carefully choose the structure of your business because it will have tax and hiring implications- most businesses choose to incorporate their company as a company limited by shares (LTD).
- The articles of association establish the rules of your business. Companies House provides default model articles which you can use until you choose to change the rules governing you company.
A Shareholders’ Agreement
You define the relationship between your company shareholders by drafting your shareholders’ agreement.
A Directors’ Service Agreement
Beyond the legal duties of your directors under the Companies Act 2006 you might want to assign additional duties. This agreement is essentially the employment agreement for Directors and it lays out their rights and responsibilities – working hours, termination, role.
An Employment Agreement
When you hire an employee, drafting an employment agreement is a requirement. It is important for you because default legal provisions favor employees.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement
When you are sharing information – e.g. financial information to a prospective buyer – you need this agreement to keep it confidential. If the confidential information is disclosed by the other party you have grounds to sue.
A Software Development Agreement
You need this contract if a third party agrees to develop your software application. The purpose in particular is to set out the milestones, plan for develop and to protect your intellectual property.
A Website/App Terms and Conditions
These explains to your customers what they can and cannot do on your website and any applicable rules – e.g. minimum age of users.
How can I get these legal documents?
There are a lot of templates online but you should get the right legal documents drafted by a specialist lawyer. You will need to consult experts in all area – business law, intellectual property law.
- You don’t know who drafted the online templates.
- You don’t know if the template is legally up to date.
- You don’t know which legal implications are attached to the clauses.
- You will not know which additional documents you might need.
- Vague wording may result in a misunderstanding, subsequent arguments and lost time and/or money.
You know where to start now with this checklist of legal documents and tips to have them drafted.