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    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    The Entrepeneur's Beginning Startup Checklist

    Many beginning entrepreneurs find that having a checklist to work from helps organize the tasks that need to be accomplished. Basic checklists like the following are used to help get the ball rolling. Note this is not a comprehensive list and there is some item overlap. The inclusions in the list, and the substantive acts and contents of each document on the list, can change depending on the jurisdiction. Also, while this list is enumerated, the enumeration is for convenience only. Different individuals will reach different starting points depending on the moment of inspiration.

    1. Comprehensive Business Plan (how will you make money)
    2. IP Protection in place, including some or all of, trademark(s) registrations applied for, proper trademark marking of goods and services, name availability search(es), copyright registration(s) applied for, patent application(s) filed, work for hire and assignment agreements for employees and contractors executed, assignments on record at the appropriate recording agency, patentability search and freedom of operation opinion
    3. Nondisclosure agreements ready for investors, evaluators, consultants, and other third-parties to sign
    4. Business formation documents in place, usually including incorporation/certificate of formation, articles of incorporation/membership agreement, first organizational meeting and adoption of bylaws, issue certificates of ownership/share certificates and update register shareholders agreement/membership agreement(including clauses for assigning intellectual property, work for hire, nondisclosure, noncompetition, and, among others, buy sell), buy-sale and valuation agreement, technology transfer agreement
    5. Employment agreements in place (including clauses for assigning intellectual property, work for hire, nondisclosure, noncompetition)
    6. Asset listing (an IP audit)