What legal documents do you need to set up your company?
17 November 2023

When setting up your company, having high-quality standard legal documents in place from the outset is crucial. Having a strong legal foundation early allows you to focus on growing your business and avoiding costly legal disputes later down the track. This article sets out some of the key legal documents you will need as a start-up business.

Company Constitution

The constitution sets out the rules governing the company’s operations. It details the rights and obligations of the company’s directors, officers and shareholders and generally includes provisions concerning the company’s management structure, share capital and certain procedural requirements. This often includes rules for appointing or removing directors and conducting board meetings and members’ meetings. The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) contains a set of “Replaceable Rules”, which apply to the company unless the constitution provides otherwise. The constitution plays an important role in ensuring that the company functions efficiently.

Shareholders’ Agreements

Shareholders’ agreements set out the company’s shareholders’ rights and obligations. The rights given to shareholders may include voting rights, dividend rights, rights to access company information such as financial reports and board meeting minutes, as well as any pre-emptive rights given to existing shareholders to obtain additional shares. Shareholders’ agreements may also provide for certain procedures to be followed when transferring shares and any restrictions on share transfers. Shareholders’ agreements may also impose obligations on shareholders, for example through confidentiality and non-compete clauses which prohibit shareholders from disclosing confidential information about the company or engaging in activities that compete with the company.

Employment Agreements

As the company grows and begins hiring more people, having a legally sound employment agreement in place is vital. The employment agreement sets out the rights and obligations of employees, such as remuneration and leave entitlements, confidentiality or non-compete requirements, intellectual property rights and termination requirements.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

NDAs are commonly used for companies that enter into negotiations with other parties. This allows the company to share sensitive information while ensuring that it has a right to enforce the confidentiality of the information.

King Irving can draft and review each of the above documents for you. We also provide an all-inclusive ‘Fund in a Box’ package which includes all the above at a fixed, discounted cost. For more information, please contact us.

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