Free legal documents for Startups

7 years ago, when I started my first Internet company, I was the sole shareholder. Being a sole shareholder for a first-time entrepreneur in any field, makes you a mediocre entrepreneur, vainly proud, stupidly arrogant, and you uncannily make mistakes that are plain in sight for field tested professionals.

Unfortunately, the moment you decide to have co-founders, advisers, investors, and elect a company board, your life become a hell. Setting up all the legal papers would easily take up to 2 months, will distract you from operational goals, and in the end running a multi-stakeholders’ company request much more discipline in planning and execution. Be aware of what you wish for.

In many countries, the startup mania culture is new, and there are rarely enough local lawyers specialized in the specific legal documents required.

In 2011, Matt Hall and John Watkinson  won Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon to create a Github for legal documents called Docracy, which provides resources that take the fear and mystery out of legal agreements for startups. Docracy has been started as a reaction to the problems of finding reasonable documents when creating and running a company for the first time. After discovering that others were having the same problem, Matt and John began working on the idea full time after raising $650,000 in seed-fund.

There are now thousands of free legal documents to search and download for free, in one place. These templates will not replace your lawyer or attorney, but would certainly help you be proactive in protecting your assets and limiting the risk to be screwed. Baby, It’s a dangerous world out there!

Here are some examples of documents you can can download from Docracy:

  1. Founder Collaboration Agreement

  2. Founders’ Equity Agreement

  3. Founder Advisor Standard Template

  4. Convertible Note Term Sheet (Template)

  5. Techstars Series AA Term Sheet

  6. Employee Proprietary Information And Inventions Agreement

  7. Common Stock Purchase Agreement (with Vesting)

  8. Group Voting Agreement

  9. DuckDuckGo Privacy Policy

  10. Generic shortform NDA

  11. Employee Agreement

  12. 10 Useful Legal Documents for Designers


About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

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