I am collaborating with a marketing person to pitch a software idea in a competition where $50k is the prize/seed investment in the business.

Work has not begun but the marketing person and I have discussed verbally that I will be the technical co-founder and they the other co-founder and split ownership of the (potential) business 50% for each of us.

What protection should I get to ensure that this agreement is stuck to? Should I ask for a contract? Is an email with the agreement in writing enough? If I need a contract, any idea where I could find a template or what are the key points a contract should mention?

  • 1
    Whenever dealing with a marketing person protect yourself in writing. Verbal agreements are worth the paper they're written on.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 23 '19 at 11:08
  • Verbally mouthy talk is worth: utterly, absolutely, nothing. It's really "cute" that when humans move their lips and press air from their lungs ... these sounds appear in the room. That's totally fascinating (particularly if you're in to audio engineering, human physiology .. whatever). But the wordy mouth talky sounds have utterly - no - meaning - or - value. Talky mouth words are utterly, utterly, utterly valueless. It's amazing how hard it is to drive this point home to people.
    – Fattie
    Feb 23 '19 at 15:15

You are deep into "hire a lawyer" territory.

Supposedly a verbal agreement is worth the paper it's written on. I've no clue if email is better... but given you probably need a formal contract, I doubt it.


You both need to sit down with an agreed lawyer and discuss spheres of action, responsibilities, options for change and, sadly, consequences. ie what happens if one dies...does it pass to another family member...

Many future arguments will be reduced as you both have a clear set of “rules”...

This does not stop you both making changes to the contract in the future and, in fact, it will be much easier with an initial contract than without.

Be warned I am not a lawyer... So get good advice.

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