Plus, it`s not a bad place to know how co-founders can use (or not!), whether they can hold competing shares (and how much, if so?) and who authorizes investments or debts (and what the processes are). The most critical clause of a co-founding agreement concerns the share of equity of each co-founder of the startup. This clause mentions the consideration that a founder invests in the form of monetary, experience, network and intellectual property investments. The ownership clause sets out the number of shares held by each founder, the total amount of capital invested by a co-founder and the distribution of profits between them. The founders of a small startup, which could one day become a multinational conglomerate, have the responsibility to lay it down and rebuild it from the bottom up. However, founders often ignore having a legal document defining the terms of their relationship. This small but decisive piece of paper is known as a co-founding agreement and establishes the relationship between the startup`s co-founder. The above list of essential clauses of a co-founder agreement is not exhaustive and founders may contain other essential elements depending on the nature of the business and the relationship between them. However, we have gathered the best opinions from high-level startup experts to ensure that you and your partner are in line with your goals and that you are building a strong co-founding relationship for your business.
Lawyers and entrepreneurs understand that a business creation agreement is a first assessment of the situation when the company is young. If the circumstances change a little later, it`s not that bad. You can include procedures in this document to make the necessary changes and updates. But it`s the perfect place for you and your co-founders to think about possible problems you or your business might face – and find solutions for the future. The founder`s agreement must also include the clause for managing his finances, the rights and obligations of any co-founder and how the company`s loans can be taken out and repaid. Now that the Easy-Peasy is out of the question, you and your co-founders can sit back and lead the serious discussions we mentioned earlier. Remuneration, equity, unwavering plans, roles and responsibilities, exit clauses, everything is blocked here and now, so that there is never a procedural problem afterwards. Different teams have different ways of allocating equity: some do it in advance, others wait to know each other; Some go through a careful negotiation process, others quickly shake hands and continue. Most importantly, some distribute equity equally among all founders, others conclude that the fair result is actually an unequal distribution that reflects the differences between the founders. Let me start with the bad news. It will be a very bumpy trip; only 10 percent of cases survive the first five years.