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Essential documents for establishing a startup

Founders are often risk-takers with lots of energy and great business ideas. And that is fantastic, as long as you remember to set up the correct legal foundation for your venture. Not having the proper legal basis for your startup might be too big a risk. Having the correct legal documents in place is essential for the future success of your startup.

Guide to investor rights

When we refer to investors' rights, we refer to the legal and financial protection granted to investors when receiving shares in a start-up. It can also refer to certain privileges. In the early stages, a start-up can raise funds through convertibles. The founder will receive the money but does not need to issue shares at that stage.

The initial funding rounds of a start-up are often referred to as seed funding. At this stage, investors invest in the founder, the idea, and the company's potential. That money is usually used for product development and market research. Many start-ups don't make it to the next round of funding.

A guide to Founders Agreements

In the excitement and enthusiasm of starting a new business, formalising agreements are often overlooked. Startup founders are often friends or acquaintances, and it is easy to fall into the trap of only discussing roles, responsibilities, ownership structures and other important matters verbally. This can be dangerous.

A SAFE (which stands for Simple Agreement for Future Equity) is the most popular type of convertible for early-stage startups. It was originally created by Y Combinator in 2013.

An essential guide to ESOPs

An ESOP is a way for you to set aside a pool of shares in your startup that you can allocate to various team members (e.g. employees, consultants or advisors – that’s right, it’s not just for employees, notwithstanding the name). The ESOP sets out the rules for granting shares.

Co-founder and CEO of, Zohare Haider is on a mission to help restaurants streamline operations to increase marginal income on every order they craft.

Setting up a company in ADGM, and specifically a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), is attractive for founders and investors. Founders benefit from the speed and simplicity that ADGM’s fully digitised incorporation process achieves, while investors are attracted by the investment flexibility and legal protections that ADGM’s strong regulatory environment provides.

Setting up a company in the Cayman Islands is quick, cost-effective, attractive to foreign investors and easy for founders to maintain. Creating an offshore company for your startup might seem daunting if you don’t know where to start, which is where Clara comes in.

Clara user Feras Jalbout founded Baraka after a career as an investor, spotting a gap in the market to promote financial inclusion and educate, enable, and empower everyone to invest. We spoke to him about the ups and downs of building a successful startup.

A Share Incentive Plan (also known as a SIP or an Employee Share Option Plan or ‘ESOP’), sets aside a pool of your company’s shares that you can allocate in the future to employees, directors, advisors and consultants, incentivising them to contribute to your startup’s success and growth.

Clara has done some digging to find some truly mind-bending facts about startups. Find out what country is deemed to be the most entrepreneurial in the world, where on the planet you’re likely to find unicorns or angels and how the time of year might affect your business.

The days of the humble pen and paper are over. From expanding on that tiny seed of an idea, brainstorms with co-founders and teammates, to impressive pitches and world domination, Clara’s picked the best digital tools to help your startup succeed.

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