How startups can strive for clarity in contracts

This post is a part of a series based on my Law for Startups workshop at MaGIC in September 2015. It’s a basic introduction to legalities for startup founders. You can access the slides here.

Read the earlier posts for context:

  1. Law for startups in Malaysia — building on the best foundations.
  2. The legal landscape in Malaysia for startups — a hybrid of traditional corporate practices and Silicon Valley models.
  3. Choosing the right business vehicle for your startup or small business in Malaysia.
  4. When should a startup hire a lawyer?
  5. Oversights which could destroy your startup or small business.
  6. The dangers of using “standard” or template legal documents.

A couple of posts ago, I explained the importance of bringing all the issues to the surface when reviewing contracts. This post will explain how to strive for clarity in contracts.

Turn to clear image.
Turn to clear vision.

Continue reading

The dangers of using “standard” or template legal documents

This post is a part of a series based on my Law for Startups workshop at MaGIC in September 2015. It’s a basic introduction to legalities for startup founders. You can access the slides here.

Read the earlier posts for context:

  1. Law for startups in Malaysia — building on the best foundations.
  2. The legal landscape in Malaysia for startups — a hybrid of traditional corporate practices and Silicon Valley models.
  3. Choosing the right business vehicle for your startup or small business in Malaysia.
  4. When should a startup hire a lawyer?
  5. Oversights which could destroy your startup or small business.

Template and automated legal documents are increasing in popularity.

For years there have been many websites offering standard contracts for download. Most of these have a US/European law focus, but the past couple of years have seen some similar services launched in Asia.

Some of these websites offer a very comprehensive collection of legal documents which address the needs of startups and small businesses in particular — everything from NDAs to equity investment agreements are available for download, usually with a fee.

Say no to cookie-cutter contracts.
Say no to cookie-cutter contracts.

My cover slide for this part of the workshop reads: “Be very very very very careful when using standard contracts” — I’m not sure whether I should have added a few more ‘very’s to statement.

Business owners should be extremely cautious when using these legal documents.

Continue reading

Choosing the right business vehicle for your startup or small business in Malaysia

This post is a part of a series based on my Law for Startups workshop at MaGIC in September 2015. It’s a basic introduction to legalities for startup founders. You can access the slides here.

Read the earlier posts for context:

  1. Law for startups in Malaysia — building on the best foundations.
  2. The legal landscape in Malaysia for startups — a hybrid of traditional corporate practices and Silicon Valley models.

One of the earliest decisions that a startup or small business founder will have to make is choosing the right business vehicle through which the business/idea will be carried out.

Business vehicle options

The most common business vehicle options in Malaysia are —

  1. sole proprietorships / partnerships;
  2. private limited liability companies (Companies / Sdn Bhd); and
  3. most recently, the limited liability partnership (LLP).
Unfortunately, Elon hasn't made this vehicle available in Malaysia yet.
Unfortunately, Elon hasn’t made this vehicle available in Malaysia yet.

Continue reading

The legal landscape in Malaysia for startups — a hybrid of traditional corporate practices and Silicon Valley models

This post is a part of a series based on my Law for Startups workshop at MaGIC in September 2015.

Read the earlier post for context: Law for Startups in Malaysia — building on the best foundations.

It’s a basic introduction to legalities for startups.

Continue reading

Law for startups in Malaysia — building on the best foundations

The Malaysian startup scene has noticeably increased in vibrancy in the past couple of years. Many of us have friends or relatives who are somehow involved in the startup scene — either as founders or investors.

An increasing number of people — young and not-so-young, and some lawyers too — are moving away from traditional career paths and joining the startup ecosystem.

Other than my involvement with startups and investors via my corporate law practice, I’ve recently been working together with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (“MaGIC”).

My
My “Law For Startups” workshop at MA2015.

MaGIC is funded by the Malaysian government, and you can read their mandate here. They are an exciting and ambitious group of people, and they aim to make Malaysia the startup capital of Asia.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been part of a couple of MaGIC initiatives so far this year:

Continue reading