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Are you having business start-up issues with co-founders?

No doubt you are excited about your new business idea and anxious to get the company up and running. You may have a great product or offer a much-needed service, but you are hitting certain hiccups in your dealings with your co-founders.

There are many plans to agree upon and problems to resolve when you are starting a new business, and there are going to be differences of opinion among the founders. You may need legal assistance to settle problems so you can proceed with confidence and make the new venture a going concern.

Define roles and objectives

What is your vision? What are the goals for the new business? Everyone should be in agreement about the direction of the company and how you intend to accomplish your goals.

Equally important are roles and responsibilities. What assets or cash will each founder put into the business? Not everyone may be able to devote daily effort to the company until such time as it is actually operating, if then, so it is important to make clear the duties and contributions of all co-founders going forward.

Making decisions

How do you intend to handle decision-making? For example, will you have a majority vote when it comes to making key decisions, or will the CEO make the call independently? What about the day-to-day decisions? You will have to think about salaries and whether the founders are entitled to payment. How can the company owners change this decision and under what circumstances? 

Employee documents

One aspect of a start-up company that often causes issues is the matter of proper employment documentation. If you are going to have employees, you will need benefit forms for health insurance, a supply of IRS W-4 and I-9 forms, an employee handbook, possibly confidentiality agreements for new hires to sign, and more.

The founder agreement

A written founder agreement will help give you a better understanding of the objectives and expectations for the new venture. In it you can set the rules for you and your co-founders to go by, and you will want to rely on professional assistance to properly address any legal issues. Through this kind of agreement, you can head off many of the concerns that might be hovering in the minds of your co-founders.

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