Startup Forms: Employment and Consultant

General Guidelines for Forms

As a general matter, you should not make substantive changes to any of the forms included in the Startup Forms Library without checking with your legal counsel. We are constantly improving and updating our forms to keep up with developments in the law and in what's "standard" in the market. As such, you should check here periodically to determine whether you have the latest forms available.

Employee Offer Letter

This form is designed to be used by the Company for rank-and-file employees. Generally a Company would need a full-blown employment agreement for the CEO and certain key executive officers of the Company; such an agreement is beyond the scope of public forms posted here. Everyone else would typically sign this much shorter and simpler form of Offer Letter. Make sure you get advice from counsel before using this form for the first time so that your counsel can warn you about the usual pitfalls for start-ups such as failing to pay attention to minimum wage requirements.

Consulting Agreement

This form is designed to be used for each of the Company's consultants, including both individuals and entities providing services to the Company as independent contractors instead of employees. The distinction between independent contractors and employees is complex and requires advice of counsel. You should make sure you discuss this form with your counsel before using it. It is generally appropriate for the Company to generate the initial drafts of consulting agreements for review by counsel.

Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement for Employees

This form is designed to be used by the Company after initial consultation with counsel. Every employee and consultant (i.e., every service provider) should sign one, although there are different forms for use by employees vs. consultants. The Company should keep these in the person’s personnel file. Make sure it is filled out completely, including the Exhibits at the end of the document. If there is nothing to disclose on the Exhibit, have the person check the appropriate line and sign the Exhibit as well as the main agreement signature page. This is critical and will be the subject of careful due diligence by any serious investors.

Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement for Consultants

See employee version above. This is the same agreement, but tailored for consultants.