The essential contracts to build your startup team

The essential contracts to build your startup team

Welcome to Legal Sidekick - your legal guide through your startup journey. Create your startup team contracts with us today.

From the minute someone else is working with or for you on your startup, you are building your team. Having a team does not equal having employees working for you. A team could be also made by an outsourced developer, a copywriter who’s creating your brand message or even us, your Legal Sidekick supporting you with your legal needs.

Your team can consist of any (or all if you’re more developed) of the people or businesses listed in the table below. To get essential protection for your startup, below are the necessary legal documents you need to have in place when building a team.

Team Member

Legal Document 

One-off freelancers

Freelancer Agreement (aka Services Agreement)

To know more about freelancer agreements, read our article Squad Goals: How to hire freelancers.

Longer term freelancers

Freelancer Agreement (aka Services Agreement)

Note: These people might be paid a fixed/daily rate or monthly retainer for services to you – so actual deliverables may be less defined than for a one-off job. But you can still set out the scope of work and what you expect the freelancer to be achieving day-by-day or week-by-week, among other terms.

To know more about freelancer agreement, read our article Squad Goals: How to hire freelancers.


Intern Agreement 

Note: this is for an intern on the National Minimum Wage – not for work experience students.

Service agencies

Usually the agency provides you with their contract. Make sure you carefully read it and suggest necessary edits. If you need a contract review, we can arrange this for you.

Part-time employees

Employment Contract

Note: use the same employment contract for part-time and full-time employees. You should ensure that all the timings are adjusted proportionately (e.g. days working, holiday days).

Full-time employees

Employment Contract 

Senior advisors

Advisor Agreement + Advisor Share Option Agreement if giving equity

Non-executive directors (NEDs)

NED Appointment Letter 

Executive directors (i.e. employed full-time)

Director Service Agreement

Legal Sidekick contracts

The documents listed above are set-up for you to ensure all your essential startup requirements are met. By using our contracts available through our platform, you can be sure that anyone working for you agrees that:

  1. your startup owns all intellectual property created for your business, 

  2. anyone working for you will keep all company matters confidential, 

  3. anyone working for you is contractually committed to deliver what they say they will and in a professional, lawful and skilful way, 

  4. that all fees, figures and payment terms are agreed, 

  5. that there is clarity on when the agreement can be ended, 

  6. that there is a clear plan in case you have a dispute, and 

  7. that all practical details of the working arrangement are fixed and agreed.

Make sure you’re building a team with solid foundations in place, taking care to ensure at the very least that points listed above are covered.

This article was written by Legal Sidekick. Legal Sidekick is the legal platform for startups. We offer automated startup contracts and loads of startup legal resources and guides. For queries on 'the essential contracts to build your startup team', please contact us at