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A legal perspective on pitfalls to be avoided by start-ups

Date: 19 Oct 2017, 10:00 - 19 Oct 2017, 11:00

Location: Dublin City Centre

Type: Seminar

Topic: Innovation

A legal perspective on pitfalls to be avoided by start-ups 19th October 2017 10.00 – 11.00am DCU Invent

Avoiding Pitfalls 
A legal perspective on pitfalls to be avoided by start-ups 

19th October 2017
10.00 – 11.00am
DCU Invent
Register here
This seminar will cover the following pitfalls 

Failing to incorporate
Co-founders getting together too fast, without knowing each other well enough - it’s vital for founders to be on the same page from the outset – therefore, put some real flesh on the bones at the outset to make sure the same vision is shared, before taking any significant steps together – otherwise, disputes can arise
Failing to put a shareholders agreement in place and accordingly, the consequences of not doing so – a shareholders agreement contains all sorts of information regarding the future operation and management of the company, including the processes to be followed if disputes arise
Failing to define founder roles and terms attaching to same – if one founder is going to put a lot more time in to the business are they entitled to draw a salary, more equity etcFailing to consider the vesting of equity i.e. if a co-founder leaves, do they retain all of their equity
Failing to appreciate your limitations / unwillingness to give away control – a big setback for start-ups is a founder who fails to appreciate his limitations or the fact that he can’t do everything
Failing to get advice on your term sheets – a lot of companies negotiate the term sheet themselves and think its sufficient to call in the lawyers at a later date – it can be very difficult to renegotiate in the principle transaction documentation matters that were agreed in the initial term sheet
Giving away control – control can be lost not only pursuant to an allotment of shares but also by giving away board seats, decision making powers, rights of veto
Failing to document founder loans
Failing to put contracts in place – shareholders, contracting parties,
Failing to give due consideration to contracts you are entering into
Failing to put employment contracts in place and to pre-empt exiting employees – restrictive covenants may need to be imposed on employees and contracts should contain provisions relating to the company’s ownership of all employee created IP
Failing to protect your IP/confidential information – registration of IP / NDA’s
Failing to maintain a paper trail for the purposes of investor due diligence – board minutes, contracts etc. Investors will want to see contracts in place e.g. re acquisition/licensing of IP
Jonathan Lynch, Senior Associate, ByrneWallace
A Senior Associate in the Corporate Department of ByrneWallace, Jonathan advises both domestic and international clients on:
•          private equity and venture capital investments;
•          mergers & acquisitions;
•          corporate re-organisations;
•          shareholders agreements;
•          joint venture agreements;
•          commercial contracts; and
•          website terms & conditions and privacy statements.
Jonathan also advises on company law and corporate governance matters, providing regular advice to his clients on issues such as directors’ duties, the removal of directors, shareholders meetings and shareholders rights and disputes. He also assists clients with their company secretarial requirements, including their Companies Registration Office filing obligations. Jonathan has particular experience and interest in the technology sector, having assisted numerous clients (start-ups and established) in recent years in connection with their debt and equity fundraising activities and general commercial contracting, such as IP assignments, software licensing, NDA’s and R&D agreements.

Maria Johnston
Operations & Enterprise Development Manager
Invent, Dublin City University (DCU), Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland.
T +353 1 700 7597    M +353 87 0662581
Follow us on Twitter @InventDCU

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