Tech Tips: Legal safeguards for start-ups & scale-ups – protect your digital assets

Dhana Doobay
1 May 2022

Why do I need legal safeguards?

Businesses pre and post-seed funding looking to grow and scale will need to attract and maintain investor confidence in the integrity and longevity of their business model and working practices.

Start-ups and scale-ups will need minimum legal documentation to govern and safeguard the development of their business depending on the stage of their growth and funding cycle.

We support tech start-ups and scale-ups investing in the technology underpinning and integrated in their businesses.

We know start-ups and scale-ups are reluctant to budget for legal “contracts and compliance” advice when there are so many other calls on cashflow, but, put simply, investors will expect it and so early onboarding would help us to invest in the future of your business.

What do I do?


  • Create an investable business structure, including by:
    • Signing a founders agreement
    • Registering a limited liability company
  • Protect your IP and ideas, including by:
    • Registering a brand/trademark
    • Signing a confidentiality agreement


  • Corporate governance compliance:
    • Corporate records
    • Incorporation documents
  • Tech and IP agreements
    • IP licence
    • Cloud/web services agreement
    • Supply/distribution agreement
    • Data privacy/protection policies
  • Employee agreements/share scheme
  • Investor due diligence support/Fintech funding compliance

What is best practice?

Some threshold risk considerations for founders, start-ups & scale-ups:

  • Consider whether your business will need to attract additional funding within the short to medium term
  • Consider what basic documentation investors will want to see to support business plans to show an established business/concept
  • Consider whether key business assets are protected contractually – e.g. supply chain, customer arrangements, IP innovations, employees, founder know-how, business structure
Dhana Doobay
Partner – Telecoms, Media & Technology
Dhana Doobay is a Partner at Spencer West. She specialises in Telecoms, Media & Technology, Cloud and digital services, Network-sharing and infrastructure projects, International “best practice” regulatory strategy, Mobile ecosystems and Strategic partnerships