Law for startups — the complete series

The Law for Startups series based on the content of my workshop at the Malaysian Global and Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) is now complete.

It’s a basic introduction to legalities for startup founders, which also applies to small business owners.

My “Law For Startups” workshop at MA2015.

You can access the slides here.

This is the full list of posts on The Malaysian Lawyer:

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Law for startups — look out for common contractual landmines

This post is the final post in 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.
  7. How startups can strive for clarity in contracts.

Having discussed in the above posts some principles which startups and small businesses should bear in mind when dealing with legal documentation, this post will address some of the more common contractual landmines — practical tips on some specific terms and conditions to look out for.

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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.

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When should a startup hire a lawyer?

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.

As with any business venture, startups need to get good professional advice from experts. Typically these advisors will cover legal, financial, and tax advice.

Time to lawyer up!
Time to lawyer up!

Lawyers have a bad reputation

Most people would prefer if they could avoid dealing with lawyers. When there’s a negotiation or discussion and people say get the lawyers involved, suddenly everyone gets a bit more serious and defensive.

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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:

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