By Sybil Sam
Being an entrepreneur is not only risky, but, without the necessary guidance and resources, it can also be frustrating. One of the most common frustrations that entrepreneurs face is in preparing the required legal paperwork for their businesses. In a bid to save time and money, many entrepreneurs attempt to generate these documents themselves, using outdated or inaccurate templates from the Internet. Others hire inexpensive, inexperienced lawyers to guide them through the process.
Unfortunately, entrepreneurs that do this often encounter problems in the long run and have to go to more qualified lawyers to fix or redo their incorporation. Goodwin Procter, a leading international corporate law firm dedicated to aiding startups, is one of the firms that helps entrepreneurs with legal paperwork issues. In order to protect startup founders from “bad documents,” lower their startup costs and educate them at the same time, lawyers at Goodwin Procter conceptualized a new online tool: the Founders Workbench.
Launched in 2010, the Founders Workbench is a web tool that houses resources that enable entrepreneurs to generate the necessary documents for creating a legal entity, structuring agreements among multiple founders and better understanding other legal and formal processes associated with building a business. The site features a document driver that generates the standard suite of template documents needed for business formation – both C-corporations and limited liability companies - based on basic information provided by the entrepreneur. There is also a “capital calculator” that allows the entrepreneur to input various hypothetical amounts of investment capital and calculate different liquidation and dilution scenarios. Another notable feature is the deal dictionary that explains important financial jargon.
The website has built a lot of traction, garnering more than 30,000 unique visitors and 100,000 page views since its launch. Ian Engstrand, a senior associate at Goodwin Procter, emphasized that while the website is not an all-encompassing resource, it serves as a great starting point for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about the legal requirements for starting a business and accelerate the formation of their new ventures.Read More