Cofounder’s trial period - how to do it right and when
What we already know is why is Why you need to date first
To have the list complete, it is also important to know when and how to set the dating period. To provide the best possible environment and protect your business, you need to define:
a) How long is the trial period
b) What are the objectives of the trial period
c) What happens if you decide to continue working together after or during the testing period AND what happens if you do not
d) Cofounder milestones
What else do you need?
The next elements to include in the framework agreement with the cofounder candidate are:
e) IP assignment
Make sure that all the intellectual property that is potentially (co)-created during the trial period belongs without any doubt to the project / company. This is essential to avoid any tainted intellectual property – IP where multiple parties claim ownership or where the ownership (legal or economical) is de facto split between multiple parties.
Another important element is to ensure that anyone who works with you, and to who you disclose information about your project / company, will treat such information for the trial period (and beyond) confidential.
When is the right time to do it?
As soon as you start working together with someone.
How to do it?
It is understandable that you are at the beginning and you need to focus on working on the project. However, it is typically in this period where lot of misunderstandings and potential for future disputes is created. Some can even kill you business later - for example if someone joined your project for 3 months but you decided not to invite him as a cofounder and he will be claiming his rights on the intellectual property developed. So, no, you do not need 50 pages legal document and thousands for legal budget. You can use the Memorandum of Understanding template and the know how in this series to protect your business, yourself and be fair to others in the same time.
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