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Pop Art January 2023
Startup Guides Published:  Jan 31, 2023 5 min read

In case you missed it: January 2023

We’re only one month into 2023 and the new services keep on launching at SeedLegals.

Keep reading to find out what’s new for January 2023 and two updates we’re working on that we need your help with.

2022: year in review
We passed £1B in funds raised on SeedLegals and we onboarded our 50,000th company.
Read the round-up our 2022 highlights and launches:
Best of SeedLegals in 2022 | SeedLegals

Contents

🆕 What’s new?

You can now issue shares for services

When you issue shares on SeedLegals, you can now issue shares in return for services rather than only for cash.

Companies often choose to offer shares for services to advisors, non-exec directors, consultants, contractors or when outsourcing development work. You might also issue shares for services when onboarding a co-founder or for early-stage employees.

More: How to give shares and share options

SeedLegals Plus members get unlimited share issues.

New in option schemes: NIC election

We’ve added the joint NIC election document to our EMI and Unapproved option schemes.

What is joint NIC election?
You can agree with your employees to transfer your liability as employer for their National Insurance contributions when they exercise their share options. This is called ‘joint National Insurance contributions (NIC) election’ – it’s ‘joint’ because it must be agreed by both the company and the employee.

To be valid, the joint NIC election must be in place before the options are exercised.

With this election agreed, the option holder is responsible for paying the National Insurance due when they exercise their options. Usually the employer makes the NI payment for the employee (as part of their regular PAYE payments to HMRC) and the employee then reimburses the employer.

Previously, you couldn’t do NIC election on SeedLegals. Now you can – here’s how it works:

  • email the unsigned joint NIC election document to HMRC with a copy of the fully signed option grant agreement ([email protected])
  • when the document is approved by HMRC, the company signatory and the option holder need to sign it – you can do this on SeedLegals

More: NIC election: how it works

There’s more about joint NIC election at the gov.uk website.

SeedLegals Option Schemes

Reward your team with equity

Motivate your team to build your startup with you. On SeedLegals, it’s easy to build and run a share option scheme.

How it works

Get ready to raise and hire in the US

Founders regularly ask us about expanding into the USA and raising money from US investors – how to hire in the US, what US investors look for, whether to do the Delaware flip, and more.

To answer your questions, and to highlight some of the pitfalls for UK businesses when moving into the USA, we’ve brought together our resources in one place: USA Expansion for fundraising and growth. On this page, you’ll find:

  • insightful tips
    The essentials on hiring in the US and raising investment with US VCs.
  • success stories
    Inspiring stories from SeedLegals customers.
  • webinar video
    A fact-packed hour with our CEO and co-founder Anthony Rose and London-based US law expert Daniel Glazer of Wilson Sonsini.

Read more:
How to expand into the USA: guide for UK startups
How to raise investment in the USA: guide for UK startups

Share certificates get a design refresh

Share Certificates Design Evolution

The share certificates you generate on SeedLegals now have a fresh new look, with a design based on feedback from our members.

Take a look at how our share certificates have evolved over the years, and see the new design in this blog post: SeedLegals share certificates get a design refresh

Will your share certificates change?
✅ Yes: New share certificates you create from February 2023 onwards, and existing certificates that haven’t yet been signed and archived, will automatically update to the new design.
❌ No: Share certificates that are signed and archived won’t change.

Want to update archived share certificates to have the new design? No problem – simply unarchive the certificate. It will automatically update to the new design, then you can archive it again.

More: How to issue share certificates on SeedLegals

 

Legal advice for more complex funding rounds

Gearing up for a larger seed or your Series A+ round and need legal advice? We have great news for you: we now offer expert legal advice.

Our team has always been able to guide you to create your term sheets and legal documents. But sometimes you need more. That’s where SeedLegals Advisory comes in – you get all the advantages of our platform together with a dedicated lawyer.

Our specialists are fully qualified lawyers, experienced in VC investments. They’ve acted for both companies and investors, and they’re ready to help you negotiate the best deal for your company.

Interested? Email us at [email protected] for a free, confidential chat.

More: SeedLegals Advisory: Close your complex round with confidence

 

Introducing General Counsel as a Service

As well as our new Advisory service for Series A+ funding rounds, in January we also launched GCaaS – General Counsel as a Service.

Many startups and small businesses need help with legal tasks but can’t afford the high prices of traditional law firms and aren’t ready to hire an in-house lawyer. That’s where GCaaS comes in.

With General Counsel as a Service, you get a dedicated specialist SeedLegals lawyer, acting for you as if they were in-house, for up to 30 hours a year. We can help with matters including:

  • commercial contracts and negotiations
  • employment
  • corporate law
  • intellectual property
  • data privacy

To subscribe to GCaaS, you must have annual SeedLegals membership – either Plus or Standard.

Interested? Email us at [email protected] for a free, confidential chat.

 

🙏Help us improve SeedLegals

We’re always working on improvements to SeedLegals so it’s as fast and easy to use as possible. This month, we need your help with two updates:

🔒 What access do your users need?

We’re improving user access permissions for SeedLegals. This is because you’ve told us you want to be able to give different access to different people in your company – for example, access to different areas of SeedLegals, or different levels of permission. Sounds great! We’re keen to build this – but we need to hear more from you about what you need.

Help us out: please take a minute to fill in this quick survey.

📈 What can we improve in options schemes?

If you have an EMI or Unapproved scheme on SeedLegals, tell us how we can make it better. Spotted a way we can improve? Anything from setting up the scheme and granting options, to managing your scheme and the option holders’ access – we’re open to all gripes and suggestions. We’re also looking for a few members to help us with user testing.

Get involved: email us at [email protected]

Have your say

Got an idea for us? Is there something we can do better? We love to hear your feedback – good, bad and ugly. Let us know by email: [email protected]

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