During our training sessions for startups we’ve been getting an increasing number of questions concerning legal details for starting a company. But we’re not lawyers so we were sad that we couldn’t help out answering these questions and had to point people to possibly expensive legal aid. Then we found out about a great initiative by Startups.be partner the Betagroup Coworking Brussels and Field Fisher Waterhouse, who have partnered to bring a series of free training sessions covering practical legal issues for start-ups, with a particular emphasis on the Internet industry.
The purpose is to provide the participants with a basic knowledge of essential legal issues in corporate, IT, IP and commercial contracts. Each session will address a specific topic and will be presented by lawyers specialized in their field. Each presentation will last half an hour and will be followed by a Q&A and a drink where you will be able to ask your questions and share experiences with speakers and participants. The first seminar took place on 11 October, but there are a lot more topics to cover:
- How to secure the beginning of a cooperation: confidentiality, exclusivity, etc.
- From collaboration agreement to joint-venture
- What you need to know about shareholders’ agreements: important mechanisms, keeping the control of a company, organizing the exit, etc.
- What personal data can I collect from my clients/prospects, and how can I use them?;
- What are the rules around profiling and direct marketing?
- Data protection in a mobile world: analysis of rules on location based services, social media etc.
- What are the legal requirements for my website?
- Online sales and the protection of consumers: how to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- The DO’s and DON’T in brand protection (eg descriptive v. fantasy names),
- The procedure/costs associated with trademark protection;
- The basics of trademark litigation (incl. domain names) : what can you do if someone else is using a trademark similar to yours and what are your risks if someone has a trademark similar to your name?
Since most of the start-up companies will be using or even producing open source content (software or even music, pictures and content), we propose to explore the basic principles behind open licenses. There has already been several decision by european courts in this area and we can briefly take a look at them to illustrate in a very practical way the risks associated with the use of open content when you do not comply with the licenses.
- Precontractual liability : staying out of trouble
- How and when am I contractually bound ?
- Choosing the terms of the contract : what are the main issues and how to manage the associated risk (duration of the contract, prices, liability)
- Early termination of the contract and consequences of termination;
- Force majeure and hardship : may I terminate the contract or at least renegotiate the prices whereaan unforeseen event either renders contractual obligatons impossible, or radically changes the economical balance between parties.
- Enforcement of the contract : what are the specific remedies in case of non payment of my invoices ?
- Damages : what are the principles of the compensation for damages under Belgian law
Spiked your interest? Want to know more and participate in these sessions? Check out the Betagroup website for more details and how to register.