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Legal Documents

Page history last edited by Marc Freedman 10 years, 6 months ago

From FrontPage







Here are a few sites with mostly free legal documents for startups. These documents are an excellent resource for entrepreneurs to familiarize themselves with what to expect in starting a company and seeking funding. 


There is an imbalance in power between entrepreneurs with no money and investors with millions or even billions of dollars. It's resulted in agreements with complex terms that give investors great power in the relationship and generate huge legal fees that average $50,000 per funding round.


These documents are typically written to simplify agreements, slash fees, and protect founders.


Note that we are not attorneys and are not providing legal advice. These documents should be used with caution and in consultation with your own legal counsel.


See also Fundraising with links on convertible debt and equity articles


Not-startup specific


The following legal sites DON'T focus on equity, funding, or creating a corporation. But they provide helpful legal documents and services that startups should consider.

  • Whichdraft. Access 100s of professional editable templates for all phases of the business, including confidentiality, employment, consulting, and much more.  Link provides 50% off offer.
  • Snapterms.  Web service with a sense of humor for custom Terms of service, Privacy policies, and disclaimers. Starts at $299.



What is all means


Check out Brad Feld's excellent primer on Term Sheet terms which includes:





AngelList Docs generates industry-standard Series Seed docs from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and collects signatures and money wire info to automate and speed funding.




Passion Capital

Passion in London published a Plain English Term Sheet.



Model Seed Funding Documents. Created by Cooley Godward Kronish, LLP. Includes Term Sheet, Restated Articles (of incorporation), Bylaws, Subscription Agreement, and Board Member Election Consent.


TheFunded Founder Institute, Adeo Ressi

  • Plain Preferred Term Sheet. Eliminates aggressive investor terms, such as participation with preferred stock, a 1x liquidation preference, and single trigger vesting acceleration on acquisition.
  • Convertible Equity.  Equity funding now with price set on the next transaction, like but without the burden of convertible debt.


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Term Sheet Generator. Generate a venture financing term sheet through an interactive questionnaire. It also has an informational component, with basic tutorials and annotations on financing terms.


Orrick Law Firm

Term Sheet Creator and Start up Forms Library. The Creator generates Term Sheets for Founders, Bridge Financing, and Preferred Stock Financing.  The comprehensive Library includes docs for Corporate Formation, Founders' Stock Purchase, Directors and Officers, Employment & Consultant, Technology, and Equity Compensation.


Florian Feder

Legal Wiki. Series A Termsheet plus other funding agreements and Articles of Incorporation.  These docs were at http://standardforms.org but the domain hadn't been renewed when last checked.


Goodwin Procter

The Founder's Workbench contains typical non-funding corporate docs.  


Other sources

  • LegalZoom. Affordable site for a wide array of legal documents.


Other Resources

  • Brad Feld's articles on term sheets
  • Fred Wilson's plea for reasonable $5K legal fees when all parties used standard docs


Legal startup blogs and guides



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