The 15 essential legal docs every startup needs

Updated: Nov 18

This article shares some of the legal documents that we used during Zelt's journey to date. This is a great starting starting point for any new founder, COO, or people lead in The U.K.

Share option templates

EMI valuation application report

EMI Valuation Report - Template - Reviewed (1)
Download PDF • 97KB

The first step in the process for a HMRC valuation for the issuing of EMI options is a valuation report. Within the report you will need to determine the Unrestricted Market Value - This is the market value of all shares as if they had no restrictions and could easily be bought and sold at the current worth of the company at the time - and the Actual Market Value - This is the market value of the shares after they have been restricted. Then you need to complete form VAL231 which can be found here.

EMI option agreement template

Option Contract - EMI - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 171KB

An EMI agreement gives the grantee (employee) the right to exercise the option to subscribe to shares within a specific time period. The employee needs to be a UK tax citizen.

Unapproved (non-EMI) option agreement template

Option Contract - Non-EMI- Template- Reviewed
Download PDF • 151KB

A Non-EMI option agreement template between the company and an international employee or contractor which allows the employee to acquire shares in the company under specific conditions. It is very similar to the EMI option template.

Company related templates

Board minutes

board minutes - template - reviewed
Download PDF • 57KB

A template for board minutes, which are used to help directors ensure they are sticking to the rules by stating that in making a particular decision, the directors have considered their duties.

Companies House filing template

companies house filing - template - reviewed (1)
Download PDF • 32KB

A template used to file any ordinary or special resolutions with companies house. Resolutions refer to significant business decisions that take place within board meetings or AGMs. An ordinary resolution is one that requires a simple majority to pass, whereas a special resolution requires a 75% majority and is usually used for a significant change such as, a change of name or structure

Affiliate agreement template

_Affiliate Agreement - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 41KB

An affiliate agreement is an agreement between a merchant and an affiliate whereby the merchant pays the affiliate a fee for referred customers.

Non-disclosure agreement template

NDA Template Reviewed (1)
Download PDF • 30KB

A non disclosure agreement is a legally binding document that captures a confidential agreement.

Assignment of intellectual property rights template

IP Assignment Template Reviewed
Download PDF • 31KB

An intellectual property assignment is the transfer of an intellectual property so that the assignor is no longer the owner of that right.

Employment Related Templates

Employment contract template

Employment contract - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 152KB

A standard template for employment contracts (read more on the risks of not providing a contract of employment)

Advisor agreement template

Advisor Agreement - Template - Reviewed (1)
Download PDF • 44KB

This document is a legal agreement between you and an advisor you hire. It sets out the expectations and obligations between your company and any advisor.

Non-executive director letter of appointment template

Appointment of Director NED - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 49KB

A non executive director letter of appointment is a formal agreement that appoints somebody as an NED to a company. The letter lays out the responsibilities and the obligations of the NED within the company's board.

Visa sponsorship application template

Visa sponsorship application - template - reviewed
Download PDF • 39KB

You need a sponsor licence to employ most types of workers from outside the UK. In order to gain a sponsor license by completing an application form and paying the relevant fees to the Home Office.

Convertible notes

ASA conversion template

ASA Conversion - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 54KB

An Advanced Subscription Agreement (ASA) is an equity instrument where investors ‘pre-pay’ for shares in a company. Investors will hand over money to the company but will only receive the shares when they are issued at a future round. This document is used to confirm the conversion of outstanding ASA agreements.

Convertible raise shareholder resolution template

Convertible Raise - Shareholders Resolution - Template - Reviewed
Download PDF • 44KB

A template to issue a shareholder resolution for a convertible raise.



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