Reading time: 3 minutes

This article opens our analysis of the ‘Open Source Seed Financing Documents’ released by the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL). Below, we set out what the documents are and why AVCAL released them to the public.

AVCAL’s ‘Open Source Seed Financing Documents’

AVCAL’s ‘Open Source Seed Financing Documents’ are four template legal documents which the public, including startup founders, may download for free from AVCAL’s website. These documents are named:

  1. Subscription Deed
  2. Shareholders Agreement
  3. Employment Agreement
  4. IP Assignment Deed

Documents of this description are typically required in negotiations between founders and investors in order to give legal effect to their deal. The versions uploaded to the AVCAL website are in template form for parties to insert their relevant details.

Who Drafted AVCAL’s ‘Open Source Seed Financing Documents’?

AVCAL attributes the documents to three of its members working in consult. These members are representatives from two venture capital firms and the partner of a law firm which typically acts for venture capital and private equity clients. Three individuals are given special mention:

  • Paul Bennetts – Investment Director of AirTree Ventures;
  • Niki Scevak – Co-Founder of Blackbird Ventures (he previously founded Startmate); and
  • Daniel Atkin – Partner of K&L Gates.

Why Did AVCAL Release These Documents to the Public?

AVCAL released these documents to “increase transparency and efficiency” during the capital raising process and “create a set of documents that are both startup and investor friendly”. On AVCAL’s website, the text introducing the document suite is in plain English and consequently, accessible to a person without legal training. In this way the site further enhances the notion that the documents are there to help startups in their negotiations.

A Good Starting Point But Open for Negotiation

Some investors may insist on using the AVCAL suite and may be unwilling to negotiate particular terms – that is, investors will require their inclusion due to the risk they assume. It’s then important you engage a lawyer with a strong understanding of the ACVAL documents and the startup equity raising space to assist, rather than wasting time trying to amend terms which the investor won’t agree to. Focus your energy on the bigger issues that you can negotiate.


As a startup itself, LegalVision has an in-depth understanding of the startup space and the issues involved in raising capital. LegalVision has assisted many startups in negotiating the AVCAL documents. We are extremely familiar with the documents and know which terms investors will be willing to negotiate. Alternatively, we can help you draft your equity capital raising documents (based either on our precedents or the AVCAL suite). If you have any questions about capital raising, get in touch with our startup lawyers on 1300 544 755.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards