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Early-stage startups can do without lawyers. Here are basic legal docs templates

Aleksandr Volodarsky, founder and CEO of Lemon.io, a Ukrainian marketplace that connects early-stage projects with vetted offshore engineers, believes that early-stage startups do not necessarily need to hire expensive lawyers for preparing basic documents. On Twitter, he shared the templates companies can use to address their different basic legal issues. 

As Aleksandr Volodarsky points out, the templates will not work for every situation, but they will definitely make founders’ lives easier. AIN.Capital publishes the thread. 


Early-stage companies shouldn’t need to spend big $$ on lawyers for basic documents.

Here are the templates every startup can use:

  1. I used and will always use Stripe Atlas for company creation. For $500, they do everything, and it’s magic. If you prefer to do it yourself, you’ll need Corporate Formation docs and the Founder’s Stock Purchase Agreements.
  2. To hire your first contractor, you’ll need Consulting Agreement. It includes the NDA, IP protection, and invention assignment.
  3. When you are ready to hire your first employee, give them a Job Offer and sign NDA and Invention Assignment Agreement. If you are paying with stock, use Equity Compensation documents.
  4. When raising funds, some investors offer their own term sheets/agreements. Some might be complicated and not transparent. Here is a term sheet and SAFE agreement from YC.
  5. When selling smaller checks, use terms of use to regulate your relationship. Larger clients require a sales agreement. Some require an NDA.

It’s not legal advice, make your own decisions. Just some resources that were useful for me. Templates will not work for any situation. Read them before using.

Also, if you take legal advice from Twitter, you should not be a founder, go do something else, Aleksandr jokingly summarized.

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