A well-written shareholders’ agreement is probably one of the most important basic things in doing business. When it is done well, people on both sides of the table benefit!
That's why, at our investor readiness track last week, we together with expert lawyers from Beyond Law Firm focused on different aspects of the shareholder agreement and the tax shelter.
In case you missed it, we asked Thomas Daenen, corporate lawyer in tech and digital sectors at Beyond Law Firm, to shortlist 5 key picks from the workshop. Here you go!
- You can propose shares with different rights. Preferred shares will give more specific rights to their holders. You can also issue shares without voting rights that only give shareholders a right to dividends and liquidation.
- Top 3 elements in shareholders agreements are: 1) organization of the company’s management, 2) shares' transfer restrictions including exit conditions of active shareholders (good leaver/bad leaver) and 3) restrictive covenants (non compete and confidentiality undertakings) .
- Safety firts! Tag along protects the minority of shareholders who would like to sell their shares at the same conditions as the (majority of) shareholders (proportionate of full). Drag Along protects the majority of shareholders who would like to sell their shares and "force" the minority of shareholders to do so.
- Definitions matter. The definition of "Good Leaver / Bad Leaver" conditions is highly sensitive. As an active founder, try to have the "Bad Leaver" strictly defined in the shareholder's agreement and that all other situations of leaving to be regarded as "Good Leaver" situations.
- Tax shelter for startups. For your first investments, use the tax shelter with private investors (only individuals). They can benefit from the tax shelter for investment in cash amounting up to € 100,000 per year. Investments in a startup are eligible for the tax shelter up to € 250.000. You can then raise more, but only € 250.000 will be eligible for the tax shelter. Check out this blog post if you want to know more about it!
Are you ready for fundraising?
As of 2017, Startups.be and its partners team up to offer the set of insightful investor readiness workshops all over Belgium. Why? All because, we know, that raising funds is one of the major challenges that startups face. And our aim is to help startups in building lasting and profitable relations with investors - so startups grow and flourish!
More investor readiness workshops ahead! Check out the upcoming workshops in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia and get your spot!