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9. Non competition. Will parties to venture be prohibited from competing directly with new business? Is it restricted territorially?
10. Sharing of information. What rights do partners have to know about internal workings of venture? Are regular management accounts to be provided? For example, would www.lawyersbench.com have rights to a product developed by a JV partner, even if we had no direct involvement in day-to-day running of venture? What about independent auditing?
11. Profit sharing. How are profits to be distributed? When? Under what conditions? Can one party force a distribution of profits?
12. IPR. What Intellectual Property Rights will new venture acquire? DO they revert to any particular party if venture is dissolved? Who owns new IPR developed by venture?
13. Employees. How many employees will be needed, and how will they be organized? Will there be share options, or other incentives? Transferring employees from one business to another will almost certainly involve you in taking legal advice on process and related employee rights. At www.lawyersbench.com we would always have relevant 'key-man' insurance policies in place for special employees.
14. Administration. Map out who manages venture, who bankers will be, who will audit business and who is responsible for regulatory compliance?
15. Exit. Does venture have a defined life-span, or is it open-ended? What circumstances can force it to end prematurely? If this happens, how are assets to be distributed (including cash and IPR). If there are liabilities, not assets, who do they devolve onto?
If you answer all these points adequately, you should be well on way to a sensible well structured joint venture. As always, take legal advice before committing to any legal arrangement.
Jeff writes article on the day's legal issues for the public, and often contributes to website www.lawyersbench.com the free site for useful legal advice and tips.