Archive for the ‘Forms’ Category

AlphaTakes – Convertible Debt Financing Term Sheets

Convertible debt financings are a common type of bridge financing for emerging technology companies.  In this AlphaTakes video, Matt Storms discusses term sheets for convertible debt financings for an emerging technology company.  He provides a summary of the common key financial and procedural terms that are typically negotiated.

Here are the key takeaways from this video:

    (1)  The convertible debt term sheet for an emerging technology company should be relatively simple and short

    (2)  The key financial term in a convertible debt transaction is typically the size of the discount off the next round’s price or the warrant coverage amount

    (3)  The key procedural terms in a convertible debt transaction typically include the definition of a “Qualified Financing” and the ability to change the transaction documents with less than unanimous approval of the noteholders

 

 

by AlphaTech | Permalink | No Comments

 

Wisconsin Incorporation Documents

We figured it was about time at least one law firm did it: we are making available publicly sample Wisconsin incorporation documents for an emerging technology company startup: http://alphatechcounsel.com/Wisconsin-Incorporation_Documents.html.  The documents include Wisconsin Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Restricted Stock Agreement, initial consents, Invention Assignment Agreement, etc.

Like many of our clients, we have developed a way to use technology to increase efficiency while providing value.  We prepared the suite of sample incorporation documents by selecting from alternatives of a significant number of variables that are available for the automated systems that we have developed internally.  We programmed these variables into our incorporation documents to help us prepare the documents efficiently and accurately. We are making these documents available for informational and reference purposes.

In addition to automating incorporation documents, we have also automated bridge financing documents, employment and consulting documents, equity grant documents, and confidential disclosure agreements, among others.

Hopefully the sample documents will prove to be a good reference source for Wisconsin emerging company startups.

by Matt Storms | Permalink | 1 Comment

 

Electronic Minute Books 2.0

As a paralegal, I have done my fair share of preparing and updating corporate minute books.  Keeping an organized, complete minute book is necessary for establishing the legal record of actions properly documented, retrieving information, and quickly disclosing documents to investors for due diligence, among other reasons.  Despite the proliferation of electronic files, physical copies of minutes and consents are still typically kept in three-ring binders or those confounded hard red books.  Neither Wisconsin nor Delaware laws require that minutes be kept in original, hard copy. Read the rest of this entry »

by Macy Stoneback | Permalink | No Comments

 

Who Owns the Rights to Customer Feedback?

Suppose a customer proposes an idea to improve the software or SaaS offering of a company. The company likes the idea so much that it integrates the idea into its next upgrade. The question becomes, who owns the idea that is integrated into the software or SaaS offering?

As a general rule, the person who creates an idea, authored work, invention, or process, owns the related intellectual property.  There are exceptions to the general rule.  But, in the software and SaaS arena involving licensors and licensees, the general rule applies in most circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »

by Matt Storms | Permalink | No Comments

 

Bridge Financing Documents

One of the sets of documents that we automated at AlphaTech is the bridge financing documents for an emerging company.  Attached is a sample of the documents: Convertible Note and Subscription Agreement

Instead of just using form documents as most law firms do, robust automation allows us to deliver common document sets for emerging companies in a more efficient manner.  So what else does “robust automation” yield?  It improves document accuracy, provides a valuable knowledgebase from which to draw, and enables us to deliver common document sets to our clients quickly.  It also frees up time of our lawyers to enable them to spend less time on basic contract drafting and more time on activities that afford our clients higher value. Read the rest of this entry »

by Matt Storms | Permalink | 1 Comment

 

Preparing Board Meeting Minutes: Necessary Evil and Corporate Drudgery?

For many entrepreneurs, the idea of preparing minutes of board meetings seems like a thankless chore, especially when there are only two or three directors. It may be tempting to skip this corporate formality if the purposes for it are not understood. Also, many entrepreneurs wonder what magic language should go in them to make them “legal.”

Reasons for Preparing Board Meeting Minutes

There are several reasons for preparing good corporate minutes:

  1. State Law Requirements and Corporate Bylaws. State laws generally require corporations to prepare and keep minutes of board meetings. According to Delaware state law (a state where many companies are incorporated), “one of the officers shall have the duty to record the proceedings of the meetings of the stockholders and directors in a book to be kept for that purpose.” The Wisconsin Statutes do not require corporations to take board minutes unless requested by a director, but most corporation bylaws require the corporation to maintain adequate minutes of board meetings.
  2. Reduce Personal Liability Exposure. Preparing and maintaining proper corporate minutes may help reduce the risk of personal liability. Directors have a fiduciary duty of care, meaning that they have to show that they sufficiently analyzed the alternatives before making a decision. They also have a fiduciary duty of loyalty, meaning that they must act in the best interest of the corporation and its shareholders, above any of his or her own interests. Maintaining good corporate minutes can help to establish that the duties of care and loyalty have been fulfilled. Also, by having good corporate records, there may be less chance of a third party “piercing the corporate veil” by claiming that the corporation is nothing more than a sham of the owners who disregard the separateness of the entity and should not receive the benefits of limited liability protection.
  3. Third Party Requirements. Another reason to keep minutes is to provide evidence of approval of transactions involving third parties (e.g., banks, investors, and strategic partners). In addition to being a state or bylaws requirement to approve significant transactions, some third parties require evidence of such approval as a condition of closing.
  4. Reduce Likelihood of Certain Types of Litigation. In a 2006 case, the Supreme Court of Delaware described best practices for approval of an action by a board committee and concluded that the company could have avoided decade-long litigation if proper minutes had been recorded for every meeting with detail regarding the information that was used to make the decisions.
  5. Creation of a Historical Record. A bonus of preparing minutes is that the company will accumulate a searchable, historical record of all of the significant actions taken by the company. By either gathering signatures electronically or by scanning and combining the final, signed minutes into a searchable PDF binder, they will be easily searchable and ready for delivery to future investors, bankers, and auditors who require them for a transaction or audit.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Macy Shubak | Permalink | 1 Comment

 

Paper Stock Certificates: A Thing of the Past?

As public companies are increasingly opting out of providing paper certificates to shareholders in favor of providing electronic registration (a movement known as “dematerialization”), most private companies and their shareholders have yet to follow suit.  Issuing uncertificated shares is allowed under most states’ laws, and, as many on the public company side can attest, numerous cost and time efficiencies can be gained by going paperless with shares.  As we accept electronic statements to represent our public company holdings and exhibits to Operating Agreements to note our LLC ownership interests, do we really still need as evidence of our private company ownership a hokey, bordered piece of paper with an eagle on it?

Disadvantages of Issuing Paper Stock Certificates

Consider the inefficiency and chances for errors in the typical cumbersome process to issue paper stock certificates:  Read the rest of this entry »

by Macy Shubak | Permalink | No Comments