What legal documents does my start-up business need?

Kickstarting a new business is exciting and you may be tempted to rush through the set-up process to start making sales. However, businesses should ensure they have all the required legal documents first, to avoid costly and unwanted legal disputes in the future.


This article provides a simple summary of some key legal documents that start-ups should consider when setting up their business. Click the button below to save a copy and help your business in the long-run!


1. Website terms and conditions

Website T&Cs are binding contracts which set out the rules for people intending to use and access your business website.  T&C’s guide how people use the information and functionality on your website or app.


2. Term Sheet

A Term Sheet is an initial document which outlines the main obligations of parties in a proposed transaction in your start-up business. It may or may not be legally binding, depending on the circumstances.


3. Subscription agreement

A Subscription Agreement is a type of share offer document relevant for start-up businesses operating as a company. A Subscription Agreement should include information such as the number of shares issued, the date of share issue, and the subscription price.


4. Intellectual Property (IP) Assignment Agreement

An intellectual property assignment agreement is a contract which sets out how IP is assigned within your start-up business. It may be used to:

  • Assign IP rights of an employee’s creation to your company
  • Commercialise your IP externally
  • Obtain IP needed to run your start-up business


5. Privacy policy

A Privacy Policy sets out how your start-up uses the personal information of a client, customer or visitor. It may be given on paper or published digitally e.g. on a website or mobile device.


6. Shareholders agreement

A Shareholders Agreement is relevant for start-ups operating as a company. It is a contract which sets out the rights and obligations of the shareholders of a company, and regulates matters external to the company constitution.


7. Employer and contractor agreements

Employment and contractor agreements are legally binding documents which set out the rights and obligations for employees and contract workers within your start-up business. Start-ups should ensure they understand the difference between employees and contractors because this will affect superannuation, tax entitlements and employment law obligations.


The content in this article is current as at the date of publication, however the law is constantly changing. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with changes and seek professional advice.


If you would like any further legal assistance regarding your start-up business, please contact us at or 1300 033 934.