Launching
by
Streiff Law
&
TheFamily
Part I - Founding
your GmbH / UG
Part II - Growing
Part III - Funding
daniel@streifflaw.de
Part I - Founding
your GmbH / UG
1. Why LegalStrasse
2. How it works
3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how
4. Founding documen...
9 out of 10
Startups fail
Many for lack of a legal infrastructure
and legal knowledge
daniel@streifflaw.de
daniel@streifflaw.de
a new hope
Empowering founders
through legal
infrastructure & knowledge
daniel@streifflaw.de
Why
Legalstrasse
#1: Avoid the pitfalls
daniel@streifflaw.de
Why
Legalstrasse
#2: More bootstrapping
daniel@streifflaw.de
Why
Legalstrasse
#3: Bring balance to the
force
daniel@streifflaw.de
Why
Legalstrasse
#4: It’s free!
Part I - Founding
your GmbH / UG
1. Why LegalStrasse
2. How it works
3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how
4. Founding documen...
1. Go to legalstrasse.com
2. Select & download docs
3. Edit marked passages with
help of comments
4. For founding start wi...
Part I - Founding
your GmbH / UG
1. Why LegalStrasse
2. How it works
3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how
4. Founding documen...
● Founders join to work together
GmbH = Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
UG = Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschr...
Why should I found a GmbH
or a UG?
● Limited liability
● Legal entity independent of its
members
● Publicly accepted
danie...
So how is a GmbH different
from a UG?
1. name
2. share capital
● GmbH ≥ 25,000 € in assets
● UG ≥ 1 € in cash
(have at lea...
So what should I choose?
daniel@streifflaw.de
➔ You can upgrade at any time
(need to retain 25% of profits anyways)
➔ UG i...
When should I found?
1. After developing idea and finding co-founders, but
2. Before creating any IP (software, domain, lo...
Why found so early?
Any business activity (creating IP,
income, advertising) automatically
founds a GbR partnership, even
...
5 steps to found a GmbH or UG
GbR Pre-GmbH GmbH
Notary
(“marriage”)
● Notarize AoA & SHA (€)
● Sign MD contracts
Commercia...
Part I - Founding
your GmbH / UG
1. Why LegalStrasse
2. How it works
3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how
4. Founding documen...
The founding documents
daniel@streifflaw.de
4.1 Articles of Association (AoA)
The company’s constitution.
● essential data (name, business
object, share capital etc.)...
AoA issues
Object
Regulatory violations
may shut down your
business (e.g. banking,
agents)
http://bit.ly/2qoruFd
Shares
To...
4.2 The Shareholders’
Agreement (SHA)
Secret pact between founders
Get it notarized (tax authorities notified)
Shareholder...
SHA: Vesting
= Founders have to return
shares if they stop working for
the company within the vesting
period (3-5 years).
...
4.3 The Managing Director
service contract
MDs (Geschäftsführer)
● manage the company &
● represent it.
A GmbH/UG needs at...
Managing Director issues
Public obligations
= external liability of
MD (damages, jail time)
● Taxes, bankruptcy
● Share ca...
Ready to found!
daniel@streifflaw.de
daniel@streifflaw.de
Next legal workshop:
Part II - Growing
your GmbH / UG
1. Protecting IP
2. Employment contracts
3. Fre...
Thanks to Gregor Cresnar from Flaticon.com for designing all icons!
Thanks for
listening!
Comments &
questions to
daniel@s...
The founder’s holding -
Russian doll structure
Founder owns 100% of a UG that is
a shareholder in the operating
company
da...
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Launching LegalStrasse: Legal docs for startups in Germany, for free! 🇩🇪

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When you’re starting a company, you have to build your product & talk to your customers—but at some point—you’ll have to dive into legal stuff. In order to do so, you’ll have to either 1) get a lawyer that may confuse you & charge you for standard legal documents or 2) become a lawyer yourself!

You’re a startup founder, not a lawyer. Especially if you’re starting a company in Berlin and the 3 co-founders are from Italy, Sweden & Bulgaria.

Well, that’s exactly why we’re launching LegalStrasse: To empower entrepreneurs with all the legal tools they need to set up a German company on their own. We provide them with state of the art drafts of all the contracts they need – for free. ✊

In this first workshop, our lawyer Daniel Streiff explains the contracts and legal & contract procedures about registering your company in Germany so you become lawesome & avoid the common pitfalls.

We talk about Articles of Association,Shareholder Agreement, Managing Director Contract.

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Launching LegalStrasse: Legal docs for startups in Germany, for free! 🇩🇪

  1. 1. Launching by Streiff Law & TheFamily
  2. 2. Part I - Founding your GmbH / UG Part II - Growing Part III - Funding daniel@streifflaw.de
  3. 3. Part I - Founding your GmbH / UG 1. Why LegalStrasse 2. How it works 3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how 4. Founding documents daniel@streifflaw.de
  4. 4. 9 out of 10 Startups fail Many for lack of a legal infrastructure and legal knowledge daniel@streifflaw.de
  5. 5. daniel@streifflaw.de a new hope Empowering founders through legal infrastructure & knowledge
  6. 6. daniel@streifflaw.de Why Legalstrasse #1: Avoid the pitfalls
  7. 7. daniel@streifflaw.de Why Legalstrasse #2: More bootstrapping
  8. 8. daniel@streifflaw.de Why Legalstrasse #3: Bring balance to the force
  9. 9. daniel@streifflaw.de Why Legalstrasse #4: It’s free!
  10. 10. Part I - Founding your GmbH / UG 1. Why LegalStrasse 2. How it works 3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how 4. Founding documents daniel@streifflaw.de
  11. 11. 1. Go to legalstrasse.com 2. Select & download docs 3. Edit marked passages with help of comments 4. For founding start with AoA, SHA and MD contract daniel@streifflaw.de 2. How it works
  12. 12. Part I - Founding your GmbH / UG 1. Why LegalStrasse 2. How it works 3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how 4. Founding documents daniel@streifflaw.de
  13. 13. ● Founders join to work together GmbH = Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung UG = Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt) Shareholders GmbH/UG ● Legal entity independent of its shareholders ● Limited liability What is a GmbH/UG? Managing Directors
  14. 14. Why should I found a GmbH or a UG? ● Limited liability ● Legal entity independent of its members ● Publicly accepted daniel@streifflaw.de
  15. 15. So how is a GmbH different from a UG? 1. name 2. share capital ● GmbH ≥ 25,000 € in assets ● UG ≥ 1 € in cash (have at least 1.000 € to cover founding costs) Shareholders GmbH/UG daniel@streifflaw.de
  16. 16. So what should I choose? daniel@streifflaw.de ➔ You can upgrade at any time (need to retain 25% of profits anyways) ➔ UG is also ideal for founder holdings ➔ If you want to invest < 25k, go for UG
  17. 17. When should I found? 1. After developing idea and finding co-founders, but 2. Before creating any IP (software, domain, logo, prototypes) daniel@streifflaw.de
  18. 18. Why found so early? Any business activity (creating IP, income, advertising) automatically founds a GbR partnership, even without a contract! daniel@streifflaw.de Risks ● Expensive transfer GbR to GmbH ● Taxes ● IP blackmailing ● Lower valuation
  19. 19. 5 steps to found a GmbH or UG GbR Pre-GmbH GmbH Notary (“marriage”) ● Notarize AoA & SHA (€) ● Sign MD contracts Commercial Register (“birth”) ● Only pay register & notary (€) ● Entry into public register Bank (“intercourse”) ● Open bank account ● Put firm on mailbox ● pay share capital (€) ● Notify notary Administration (“applications”) ● Trade registration (€) ● Finanzamt (VAT) ● Comm. chamber (€) ● DRV: MD status check Idea & team (“dating”) ● Business plan ● Find co-founders ● Prepare founding contracts daniel@streifflaw.de
  20. 20. Part I - Founding your GmbH / UG 1. Why LegalStrasse 2. How it works 3. GmbH/UG: what, why, when & how 4. Founding documents daniel@streifflaw.de
  21. 21. The founding documents daniel@streifflaw.de
  22. 22. 4.1 Articles of Association (AoA) The company’s constitution. ● essential data (name, business object, share capital etc.) ● Organization: shareholders’ meeting (voting rights etc), MDs Solo founders (e.g. “Founder’s Vehikel”) can save notary fees just using a standard form daniel@streifflaw.de Shareholders GmbH/UG (AoA) MDs
  23. 23. AoA issues Object Regulatory violations may shut down your business (e.g. banking, agents) http://bit.ly/2qoruFd Shares Total amount and distribution Name Check for identical and similar trademarks wipo.int daniel@streifflaw.de
  24. 24. 4.2 The Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) Secret pact between founders Get it notarized (tax authorities notified) Shareholders (SHA) GmbH/UG daniel@streifflaw.de Critical clauses in our template Pre-emption rights, vesting, drag along, tag along, non-competition clauses etc.
  25. 25. SHA: Vesting = Founders have to return shares if they stop working for the company within the vesting period (3-5 years). Stop working = quit, refuse to work or company firing you When stopping in the cliff period (e.g. 1 year), you keep 0 shares at all daniel@streifflaw.de
  26. 26. 4.3 The Managing Director service contract MDs (Geschäftsführer) ● manage the company & ● represent it. A GmbH/UG needs at least 1 human as a MD The MD contract covers the internal rel.ship w/ company. Shareholders GmbH/UG MDs (MD contracts) daniel@streifflaw.de orders
  27. 27. Managing Director issues Public obligations = external liability of MD (damages, jail time) ● Taxes, bankruptcy ● Share capital ● Accounting Internal Liability MD is liable towards the company for any mistake (our template limits this liability) Social Status Is MD (self-)employed? Wage tax, insurances? ➔ DRV Status check within 1 month after notarization http://bit.ly/2pwsIdA daniel@streifflaw.de
  28. 28. Ready to found! daniel@streifflaw.de
  29. 29. daniel@streifflaw.de Next legal workshop: Part II - Growing your GmbH / UG 1. Protecting IP 2. Employment contracts 3. Freelancer contracts 4. Employee participation (ESOP)
  30. 30. Thanks to Gregor Cresnar from Flaticon.com for designing all icons! Thanks for listening! Comments & questions to daniel@streifflaw.de
  31. 31. The founder’s holding - Russian doll structure Founder owns 100% of a UG that is a shareholder in the operating company daniel@streifflaw.de GmbH Shareholders: 2 humans, 1 UG Operating GmbH UG shareholder: 1 human Why? The holding can reinvest profits with 5% tax only and deduct business expenses!

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