Our Blog

Every Founder’s Checklist (UAE)

This is a checklist curated by Crimson Legal Limited to cover all early stage startup decisions and documentation from a legal and practical perspective. This checklist may not be copied, transformed, adapted or amended nor used for any commercial purposes by any third party without the prior written consent of Crimson Legal Limited.

Checklist Description
Structuring Think about structuring and how you wish to set up the business before you get a license.
Licensing The UAE has over 60+ regulators and jurisdictions to choose from. The activity and
Special Permissions or Consents Check if your business requires additional licenses, permissions or consents
Co-founders agreement / Shareholders agreement Discuss with your legal advisor
Board resolutions forms Create forms in advance and record decisions taken by founders in writing
Domains Typically the company should own the domain and pay for it
Website Hosting Typically the company should own the website hosting and pay for it
Emails hosting Typically the company should own the emails hosting and pay for it
Branding, Marketing and Social Media
  • Good logo and stationary
  • Social media accounts and consistent presence
  • Marketing strategy
  • CRM software
  • All accounts should be in the name of the Company
Accounting Software Use reliable software to track your accounts. Register with FTA if you meet the discretionary threshold and start issuing tax invoices in the right format
Any other automation software required At founder’s discretion
Intellectual Property Do you have intellectual property related to your business that needs to be recorded or registered?
Checklist Description
Capitalization Table This is not necessarily a legal form but incredibly helpful to founders. A cap table is basically a document listing your company’s equity distribution and securities (if any). This includes your share distribution, options, warrants, etc., and who owns each. It should be simple, organized, and up to date in Excel type format or there are some nice software available too.
Laws applicable to your business Understand and know the laws applicable to your business
Fundraising documents Terms sheets for investments. Type of capital raise, SAFE or Convertible Notes? Or any other model?
Employer Documents Policy or Handbook for Employees, Employee communication forms, Employee performance review forms, NDAs and contract for employees
NDAs with third parties
  • Create a form of NDA for third parties with a strong dispute resolution clause
  • Understand how to enforce the NDA by discussing with your legal advisor
  • Include Waiver of IP rights
Insurance Policies Most foreseeable risks can be protected either by contract or insurance. Please discuss with your insurance advisor
Website Terms and Conditions + Privacy Policy DO NOT copy paste and create these to suit your own business. Ask advice from a lawyer if you need to. Do not rely on your website designer
Agreements with Consultants and Suppliers Create strong contracts with enforceable dispute resolution provisions. Include rights, obligations, remedies and exit strategy. Seek advice from your legal advisor to draft or review these documents
Checklist Description
Advisor agreement (if applicable) A typical advisor agreement defines the startup-advisor relationship. It typically sets forth the advisor’s incentive equity amount and type (i.e. options or restricted equity grant) and a vesting schedule, if any provided. More importantly, the Advisor Agreement should include, or have attached, various terms and conditions. Depending on how involved the advisor will be with confidential information and the development of the company’s products or services he may also need to be provided with invention assignment agreement
Selected Board of Advisors/ Consultants Lawyers, Financial Advisors, Technical Advisors, Insurance Advisors
Internship Contracts Create a form for all interns to sign
Development Agreements / Statement of Work All developers should sign a contract and ensure that all work being created is automatically assigned to the Company and not retained in developer’s name/account
Power of Attorney Consider issuing power of attorney to a trusted individual for any unforeseen situation