The Map From Business Plan to Exit
Confidentiality Agreements - so you can discuss your idea with others.
Entity Formation - an entity (e.g., corporation or LLC) protects owners from individual liability, and allows for the partition of ownership.
Rule Book Among Owners - you need a shareholders' agreement (for corporations) or operating agreement (for LLCs) in order to establish a foundation upon which to build your company. These documents address issues like: Who is in control? What happens if an owner quits? What happens if an owner dies? Who is contributing what to the company? Can owners compete with the company? Who owns the intellectual property?
Employment/Vendor/Consulting Agreements - so you can bring teammates into the deal to help you on proper terms. If intellectual property is developed "on the company's nickel," then who owns it? Can former employees and vendors compete?
Trademark Clearance and Application - is your brand available? Can you use it nationwide? A forced name change can be a big problem for the company. Trademarks done right out of the gate are inexpensive, and trademark issues down the road can be very expensive.
Investments - you need other people's money, but you don't want to lose control. How do you craft terms to entice an investment without giving up too much?
Securities Exemptions - selling securities illegally can create enormous problems - make sure your offering of equity or debt complies with securities laws.
Mergers & Acquisitions - selling or buying a business has many moving parts, it can be smooth or a debacle. Knowing what you’re doing out of the gate will make the process as smooth as possible and help you avoid dead-deal costs.