Startup Legal Templates: What They Are and Why You Need Them

Written by Wesley Henderson

December 31, 2022

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Have you just started a business? Are you thinking of starting one? For tips on what you need to start, read the steps to start a business here.

No doubt, starting your hustle as an LLC owner is an achievement. However, beneath all the potential success and glamor lies a laundry list of legalities you need to sort out. If you fail to sift through the forms and legalese of LLC ownership, you’re risking a big-time lawsuit somewhere down the road.

Don’t worry! While the risks of lawsuits and other business-related perils abound, several options exist to help you mitigate and eliminate these risks. With startup legal templates, you’ll be protecting your business from lawsuits, intellectual property theft, and many other circumstances.

Now you might be asking yourself: “What are startup legal templates?” We answer this question and more!

Get ready to take notes and learn about startup legal templates and why you need them. Stick around until the end to find out which ones you need for your LLC or startup!

Startup Legal Templates 101

Startup legal templates are legal documents you can fill up with your specifics. These templates will become legal documents that will legitimize your business and its operations. More importantly, some of the startup legal templates you finish will make many of your corporate policies official and legally binding for your customers and employees.

Startup legal templates are crucial to every small business owner for several reasons.

First, they take the guesswork out of learning what information to include. Since the templates will consist of fields that require filling up, you’ll know what information to gather before you register your LLC or have an employee sign on the dotted line.

Second, startup legal templates will contain clauses you may miss if you draft documents yourself. As a result, the chances of you suffering at the hands of lawsuit-happy people will drop from slim to none.

In short, startup legal templates are pre-made documents that — when notarized and completed — will be legally binding and legitimize your operations and business. By legitimizing your business, you’ll be protecting it and the assets that keep it afloat.

Why You Need Signed Startup Legal Templates for Your Business

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from startup legal templates. This is especially true if it’s your first time running a business.

Besides taking the guesswork out of drafting, startup legal templates can benefit you in several ways. Let’s get into each benefit in greater detail.

Helps Legitimize Your Business Registration

One of the ways a startup legal template helps you operate is by legitimizing your registration. When you start a business, you’ll have to register it with all the necessary pieces of business information. Information like your business’s name and its employer identification number (EIN) is crucial — and missing any information will disqualify you from operating.

By filling out a startup LLC registration, you’ll be on your way to making your business legitimate. As a bonus, you’ll know what information to find before you go about registration.

Eliminates the Chances of Inaccurate or Incomplete Business Information

As mentioned earlier, startup legal templates take the guesswork out of filling out forms. These templates achieve this by presenting you with pre-arranged fields that you must fill out.

When you’ve got templates on hand, you’ll see what information you need to include. As a result, you’ll be registering with complete and accurate information. The same is true when you get your templates notarized.

Sets Roles and Responsibilities in Stone

Startup legal templates don’t just come in the form of LLC registration templates. Some templates like employee contracts lay out roles and responsibilities. Once notarized, these templates become legally binding and create clear distinctions between what your employees should and shouldn’t do.

With a template, you can include what you need employees to do daily. You can even place granular but crucial details like regular shift hours, administrative responsibilities, and anything else you’d like your employees to know.

Discloses What To Expect From Your Business

When you’re dealing with clients, it’s critical to be upfront about what you can deliver. Any failure to deliver a service (that you may not be offering) can give your customers and clients the green light to sue you for a breach of contract.

With a legal template like a service agreement, you’re clarifying the scope of your service. In other words, a service agreement tells your clients what you do and don’t do. As a result, you’re setting expectations and taking away your client’s grounds to complain about your service or — worse — sue you for a breach of contract.

Protects You From Liability

Liabilities and risks of lawsuits are everywhere. The last thing you need is for a client or customer to point out any sign of negligence on your part. Fortunately, legal templates can protect you from liabilities by providing disclosures of risks.

By disclosing risks and hazards, startup legal templates shift liability to your customers or clients. This exonerates you from any liability if someone in your place of business sustains injuries.

Sets Limitations and Responsibilities for Shareholders

You can skip ahead if you’re starting a single-member LLC. However, if you’re getting two or three other people on board, you must be crystal clear about who makes most of the decisions and oversees business operations. This is where startup legal templates come in!

Startup legal templates like shareholder agreements allow you to clarify what every shareholder is entitled to. These agreements also enable you to clarify roles and expectations you have towards your fellow shareholders. With every shareholder’s entitlements and roles codified in a shareholder’s agreement, operations will be smoother. Your relationships with other shareholders also remain conducive to your startup’s operation.

Protects Your Business’s Assets Like Intellectual Property

A lawsuit isn’t the only thing you need to protect your business from. You must also safeguard your business’s assets, particularly your intellectual property.

Startup legal templates include documents that allow you to register your business and claim rights to assets like your logo, name, and products. With templates like our NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), you can prevent your employees from leaking your intellectual property to your competitors.

NDAs will also give you the upper hand when you litigate employees and competitors from stealing your intellectual property.

Clauses You’ll Find in Nearly All of Our Startup Legal Templates

The power of legal documents lies in the clarity and verbiage of clauses. Clauses are statements meant to describe obligations, limitations, and the parties involved in a transaction or business venture. Clauses can be short statements or long paragraphs complete with subsections and bulleted lists.

The people meant to sign your legal templates don’t need to understand every clause. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking that clauses are superfluous. They still give you the upper hand if things go south or to court. Clauses give you something to invoke or point back to whenever there’s a dispute — whether it’s with a customer, client, shareholder, or employee.

There are as many clauses as there are business niches. While you don’t need every business clause imaginable in your legal documents, you’ll get by with these ubiquitous legal clauses.

Service or Product Description

Product descriptions must contain the name of your product, what the product does, and its specifications. Besides product details, it must also contain full disclosure of potentially hazardous components.

Services descriptions outline the scope of your services. In other words, you must clarify what’s included in your services and what isn’t. Doing this ensures that you don’t overexert yourself and protects you from liabilities if accidents occur.

Payment Details

Payment details are a must in service agreements or contracts. Details must include costs, payment methods, and deadlines.

You may also add a clause for surcharges. A surcharge clause legitimizes your right to add a surcharge for late payment.

Liability Limitations

Like your service descriptions, liability limitations clarify what you’re not responsible for. Limitations on your liability will save you later on if a customer sustains injuries after misusing your product.

Contract or Service Termination Clause

Termination clauses can give you and your clients a way out of the contract. Termination clauses must include guidelines about terminating a contract and other co-terminal agreements like a clause that releases you from legal action.

Attorney’s Fees

Have you ever asked yourself who recovers the attorney’s fees after a legal dispute? You can be the prevailing party after a dispute — if you’ve got an attorney’s fee clause in your contracts.

We’ve drafted attorney’s fees and prevailing party clauses in the startup legal templates that need them most. We’ve added them to ensure that our customers get a share of attorney’s fees after a legal battle.

The Different Types of Agreements You Need for Your Business

We offer multiple startup legal template bundles that can protect your business, regardless of what industry you’re in. Our startup legal template bundles contain the following agreements and documents. All you need to do is fill them out and get them notarized!

Service Agreement

Are you rendering services to a client on a one-on-one basis? If you are, you’ll need a service agreement. As mentioned earlier, a service agreement has everything your client needs to know about the services you’ll provide. With a service agreement, you can set expectations and clarify what you’re liable for and what you aren’t.

Operating Agreement  

As a document for you and your fellow LLC co-owners, the operating agreement has provisions on how each LLC member runs the business. Our operating agreement also includes a free video explanation to help you and your fellow LLC members with decision-making.

Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) 

The non-disclosure agreement provides your intellectual property with protection from theft. It ensures that your employees share the responsibility of intellectual property protection.

The NDA contains an itemized list of assets you consider intellectual property. This helps clarify what your employees cannot mention to anyone outside your company.

Besides a list of intellectual properties and patented assets, NDAs also contain stipulations about how you can sue for breaches. In short, an NDA allows you to sue employees and LLC members for leaking your intellectual property to outside parties and competitors.

Privacy Policy

If your business is online, you’ll need a privacy policy. A privacy policy informs your site users about what user data your site gathers and why you gather data in the first place. It also tells your users how you use the data.

Our drafted privacy policy complies with existing privacy laws, so you don’t have to worry about getting privacy policy templates that don’t apply today.

COVID-19 Policy

COVID-19 is everywhere — possibly in your place of business. There’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re entertaining customers, the last thing you want is to get sued when somebody contracts it.

Protect yourself from a COVID-related lawsuit with our COVID-19 policy template. Our template includes waivers and COVID-19 warnings designed to shift liability to your customers.

Terms of Use

Got a website? Ensure its safe and responsible usage with our terms of use template.

Fitness Liability Waiver

If you’re in the fitness business, the risks of someone getting injured or passing out are high. Will it be your fault? We doubt it. That’s why we created our fitness liability waiver for LLCs that are in the fitness industry.

The fitness liability waiver informs your clients of the risks of joining your fitness classes. When they choose to participate, they assume all liability for injuries — not you.

Our fitness liability waiver comes as part of an industry bundle. Download the waiver or the entire fitness bundle today if you’re an LLC that’s involved in fitness!

Why Get Your Startup Legal Templates From Us

Sure, you can hire an attorney to draft all of your legal documents for you — but do you really need to? Wouldn’t you rather have documents that are ready to be filled out and notarized?

Get your startup legal templates from us, and you’ll have the power to do your own documentation — without the attorney’s drafting fees!

Also, when you choose Drafted Legal, you can access various template bundles for your industry. We offer legal templates for every industry your LLC may be in. Check out our industry bundles here!

Legally Drafted Startup Templates for Your Startup

Startup legal templates take the guesswork out of your documentation. Most importantly, they protect you from lawsuits and liabilities, especially after you’ve gotten them notarized.

If you need a startup template that protects your LLC, look no further. Check out our startup legal templates and protect your business today! You can even pick your exact industry.

Wesley Henderson

Hi, I'm Wesley! A business attorney turned entrepreneur devoted to simplifying how you protect your business and your assets. Like you, I'm an business owner so I get it and I started Drafted Legal to help you put in place simple and sound legal strategies so you can focus on your business and not worry about getting lost in legal nuances.

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