Law for Startups: DIY or Lawyers? Your Legal Choices
This video is part four of a series of seven videos created by Anthony Rose, Founder and CEO of SeedLegals, who’d like to share his thoughts, advice, mistakes, and learnings from his extensive career in startups, so that you can avoid the same mistakes and get off to a running start when creating yours.
When it’s time to incorporate your company, do a funding round, hire employees, or execute a non-disclosure agreement, there are a few ways you could choose to go about doing these things. It’s worth taking a few minutes to see which are good and which are bad ways.
In the olden days, every time you needed an agreement, you’d go to a lawyer and pay the lawyer lots of money and they would build an agreement for you. If, as Anthony has done, you’ve built several companies, you may notice by the second or third company that your lawyer is giving you back the same documents they gave you for the previous company and charging you the same price again - it’s nuts!
Nowadays you can google around and find free template agreements for your use. However using these templates can feel a bit like going to a supermarket, buying some chickens, some eggs, some flour, some sugar, and then you’ve got all these ingredients at home but what does that mean? You don’t know, the free agreements are basically worth what they cost (£0!). A suggestion is to use these for the simple things like non-disclosures or IP assignments and so on (they’re not hard to understand), but you’re going to need to get a bit more serious when it comes to the more serious stuff like shareholders agreements and articles.
The emergence of The Uber of Lawyers: it’s great that the legal tech space is now finally mirroring other areas. While you would previously have phoned around for a law firm, you can now upload a job to a website and let Lawyers bid for it. Typically you’ll see quotes that are a lot less then you would otherwise obtain through the traditional route - that’s the joy of competitive bidding! But whilst the Uber of Cars is the now, the future is actually of self-driving cars and that’s really where SeedLegals comes in. We’d like to give you the tools, the knowledge, the forms and the data to help you make the right decisions so you don’t need to go through a pricey law firm or the Uber of Lawyers.