Must Read for hungry Startup Entrepreneurs: How not to Hand out Equity

Learn how a young startup died an early unnecessary death due to a faulty capital structure in "A Fatal Paper Cut." Great post, but IMHO, bad title.  Had I not found it through Ask The VC, I would have never read the post based on the title.

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Think of your Agreements as Marketing – Six Things to Avoid

Have you ever thought that the contracts you hand out to your customers are another part of your marketing strategy?  If not, think again.  Everything you present to your potential customers (i.e. market) is marketing.  Here are six things that can damage your otherwise perfect marketing script: 1.  Agreements that are too long.  Almost every agreement can be...

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Do you have to have a Signature on your Contract? Is an E-Signature enough?

This comes as a surprise to some people: In New York, unless there is a special law that states otherwise, you can become bound by a contract, even though you have not actually signed it.  As long as you have somehow shown that you agree to the terms of the contract, you can be on the line. But what if a signature is required, as for example, when executing a personal guarantee?  What...

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One good Reason for a Shareholders Agreement……..

….keeping control by restricting the transfer of shares. You, your best friend Jane and Jane’s cousin opened a store and online business selling luxury pet supplies under various brand names.  You run the business through a New York corporation.  Each of you has equal ownership in the corporation.  Everything goes well, your products get mentioned on Oprah and you grow...

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Don’t get Roles mixed up when signing for a Business Entity (plus case in point)

When signing for a business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company, an officer’s signing capacities can get confusing.  Is she signing on behalf of the entity only, or in her personal capacity and on behalf of the entity? Check the following points: 1.  When only the business entity is supposed to have obligations under the agreement, the signature block should...

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CORI K-Base Contract Research Expands

In one of my previous posts I mentioned  Cori K-Base, the resource for free contract forms and research sponsored by the University of Missouri.  I just received an e-mail from them informing me that they have made some major improvements: "First, we have partnered with QL2 Software, Inc., to enhance our ability to acquire and incorporate contracts from EDGAR and other on-line...

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Resources for low cost or free Form Business Contracts

I’ve posted on web resources for form contracts before; however, this is supposed to be a comprehensive list. First the Disclaimers: There is no assurance that any agreement that was not drafted for you and your individual circumstances is worth more than the paper it was written upon. An agreement develops through negotiation.  You must be aware of the legal consequences of each and...

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Seal of Approval for Forfeiture for Competition Agreements

You may know that non-compete agreements between an employer and an employee are problematic since there is always the real possibility that a court may find that the restrictions put on the employee in the agreement are unreasonable.  There are even websites trying to help employees break their non-competes.  Nonetheless, businesses would like to be protected from an employee leaving...

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Confidentiality Agreements between a Business and an Employee

A confidentiality agreement (also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement) is meant to protect a business from misappropriation of valuable proprietary information by employees.  Often it is a good idea to have one in place with your employees. When drafting or reviewing such a confidentiality agreement, check the following points (and consult with your attorney): 1.    Use the proper...

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The Art of Using Recycled Agreements and where to find them

In a recent article on Legal Technology,  Justin Hectus writes that much of an attorney’s work consists of the "recycling of documents and information that has proven successful in the past." So why, you ask, do attorneys get paid the big bucks for recycling work product? Justin states: "I believe that the value provided by the attorneys at my firm (and, for that matter,...

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