You already got the best people on your side as your co-founder, and strategic long-term plan on your hand – you’re all set for the launch. But don’t be overjoyed, guys. You can’t take a step further before you create a founders’ agreement. If you have no clue to start making it, let me show you the core points you need to decide when you making a founders’ agreement.
The Alignment of Idea
As I mentioned in Startup 101: 4 Vital Characteristics Your Startup Co-Founder Must Have, the alignment of your dream is essential. To make sure of it, discuss it openly with all of your co-founders and write it down on your founders’ agreement. It may seem so conceptual and unnecessary to do. But it can prevent fraction from happening in your management later on. David Ehrenberg, the CEO of Early Growth Financial Services, mentioned that 1) your goals, 2) company values, 3) your success measurement points, and 4) working styles are the things you need to align.
Deciding the Roles and Job Description
Clear roles must be declared in every founders’ agreement. Decide general functions, roles, and job descriptions for you and each of your co-founders. Decide the 1) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), 2) Chief Operating Officer (COO), 3) Chief Financial Officer (CFO), 4) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and 5) Chief Technology Officer (CTO). You can always modify it based on your startup condition. Just make sure that there’s a person in charge for every field and mention it clearly in your founders’ agreement.
Not everyone has experience and knowledge in the legal matter. I’m not saying that you have to be a legal expert to launch a startup. You just need to understand basic things that will directly affect your startup. Those things are confidentiality agreements, copyright, general partnership, patent, service marks, tax incentive, trademark, and trade secret. You can also read The Top 7 Legal Documents for Every Startup, Legal Tips: What Every Startup Entrepreneur Needs to Know, and Big Legal Mistake Made by Startups to help you with legal matters.
Dividing the Equity
According to the CEO of Glowforge, Dan Shapiro, the original idea maker can have more than the rest of the co-founders (around 5% of his shareholdings). Aside of that, the person who brings something valuable for the company deserves a special amount of equity too. And as usual, the CEO should have the most of the equity. Because the CEO needs to control. So he has to be in the upper hand, both in daily execution and the equity control. Make sure you’re on point with it in your founders’ agreement.
If you have your founders’ agreement done, don’t forget to create a strong branding concept for your startup. And for this, you can work with the Gaekoners. Based on my experience, they are the best designers you can meet online. They are professional, very skillful, artistic, and work fast (really!). I worked with them for my business card and it leads to my PowerPoint design, resume design, and everything else that I need. I got to choose my fav from 35+ business card designs and received the final file in just 14 days in total. You should try it too, really (find them at Gaekon.com).
So, what’s your thought on this article? Was it helpful? Drop a comment and share!