Zasady reprezentacji spółek w stanie Delaware

W naszej pracy często reprezentujemy spółki amerykańskie, zarejestrowane w stanie Delaware, które chcą otworzyć w Polsce spółkę córkę lub zainwestować w inną polską spółkę. Posiadając pełnomocnictwo do reprezentacji tego typu spółki napotykamy problemy związane z brakiem zrozumienia systemu common law przez polskie sądy, notariuszy oraz polskich prawników. Chcielibyśmy wyjaśnić reguły dotyczące reprezentacji spółek z Delaware, aby uniknąć niejasności w tym zakresie w przyszłości. Zasada ultra vires w common law W systemie common law obowiązuje reguła ultra vires, oznaczająca działanie „ponad siły”. Zgodnie z zasadą ultra vires, ważność czynności prawnej jest niezależna od tego czy organ podmiotu lub osoba uprawniona jest umocowana do dokonania określonej czynności prawnej. Wobec czego w common law przyjmuje się domniemanie, że każdy dokument podpisany w imieniu…

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Accelerator Law 101 – Part 2

In our previous post, we discussed the issues that come up when structuring an accelerator investment. Keeping that in mind, we have prepared a comparison of some of the investment terms used by leading accelerators in the U.S. and Europe.

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The Anatomy of a Unicorn – part 2

Previously, we discussed the main ways of handling founder and investor preferences when structuring a company, as seen in some of the world’s leading unicorns. For your convenience, we have put together a table comparing the key similarities and differences in various provisions of the COIs of Uber, Facebook prior to its IPO, Snapchat, AirBnB and Palantir.   Uber Facebook Snapchat AirBnB Palantir Two Classes of Common Stock for Founders Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Liquidation preference Non-participating preferred Non-participating preferred Non-participating preferred (for Series A, A-1, B, C) Non-participating preferred Non-participating preferred Multiple in liquidation preference 1.25x for Series C-2 and C-3 Preferred 1x 1x 1x 1x Investor relations in liquidation preference Pro rata Pro rata Pro rata Pro…

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The Anatomy of a Unicorn – part 1

Everyone is aware of the dramatic growth and success attributed to companies such as Uber and Snapchat. However, not everyone may be aware of the structures used by those companies that allow for such development and progress. We did the heavy lifting for you and compared certificates of incorporation of five leading unicorns: Facebook, prior to its IPO, Palantir, Snapchat, Uber, and AirBnB. Our findings have revealed that key to the anatomy of the unicorns lay in similar founder preferences and down road economic protections for the companies’ investors. We will briefly discuss these founder and investor preferences, as found in the certificates of incorporation. Founder Preferences A unicorn tends to have a founder-friendly anatomy. This is accomplished by giving founders…

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DOWN-ROUND FINANCING

Why Down-Round Financing? Down-round financing occurs when stock of a company is sold at a lower price per share than it was sold during a previous financing. Although having to choose to do a down-round may not be an ideal outcome for a company, it is a tool that comes in handy when a company is seeking new investors in times of necessity, economic uncertainty or in a chilled fundraising environment. The legal aspects of a down-round can be challenging tactically and strategically for founders and investors. Structuring a Down-Round Regardless of a company’s reason for opting to sell stock at a lower price than in its previous financing rounds, once such a decision has been made, there are various…

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Flip Transaction 101

Many foreign founders and investors that are coming to the US are full of anxiety about moving their startup there. One of the main fears is the complexity of the flip transaction. Undeniably it is complicated process and no flip is the same, but there are some basic transaction issues and standards that you should keep in mind when planning a flip transaction. In this and the next series of posts, we wanted to share our experience and shed some light on the various flip “pain points” and “myths”. As you can imagine, this arcane area of the law requires an understanding of US and foreign venture capital/startup standards, US and foreign tax implications, and cross-border planning. At the end…

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Board of Directors and Legal Duties

If you just joined as a new member of the board of directors of a startup, or you are VC that hops from board to board you should know your legal duties as a director. We usually try not bore you with arcane legal concepts from the common law and Delaware corporate law, but you must familiarize yourself with the term fiduciary and fiduciary duties. Under Delaware law each director is a fiduciary and has fiduciary duties to shareholders and the company. In practice this means that as fiduciary, a director must not put his personal interest before the interst of the company and the shareholders. In the real world you only care about your own wealth maximization, however, when…

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