ICC SME LAB SERIES - Legal essentials for start-ups: Future-proofing your business using ICC Model Contracts

29 Jun 2021

Online English
10.30 (West Africa)| 11.30 CEST| 12.30 (East Africa)| 16.30 (Jakarta)| 17.30 Beijing

ICC’s SME Labs are specially curated to provide you with the right tools and resources to properly protect your business against a legal fallout.

SME Lab#1: Starting to negotiate
>25 May, 11.00-12.30 CEST

SME Lab#2: Organising your company
>2 June, 11.00-12.30 CEST

SME Lab#3: Starting to operate
>29 June, 11.30-13.00 CEST

Say the word “contract” and most people’s eyes start to glaze over. Not only can contracts be daunting and intimidating, they can also be plain boring. What is more, having limited resources makes it difficult to prioritise legal matters – especially when there are exciting elements of your business to prepare.

While it may be tempting to simply seal the deal with a handshake after negotiating seed funding from an investor, having a strong legal foundation is the key to protecting you, your business, and your income.

Whether you are a start-up or a well-established company, a well-drafted contract makes it crystal clear what is expected of you and the other parties to the contract. A poorly drafted contract could cost you and your business time and money.

ICC’s Model Start-up Contracts are an indispensable and user-friendly resource for entrepreneurs wanting to quickly and easily draw up and negotiate their own contracts – without forgetting any of the essentials. Written by some of the world’s leading commercial lawyers, these easy-to-use digital contracts are succinct, practical, and provide a neutral framework for all your contractual relationships.

Why should I join this event?

In this free ICC SME Lab Series, you will learn from some of the finest legal minds in the field of international commercial law on:

  • The purpose of each model contract
  • How you can use the flexible provisions within each model to help you write your own contracts 

You will also have the chance to:

  • Receive real-world guidance from entrepreneurs on how to avoid common pitfalls that can make or break your business
  • Experience live demonstrations of how to use model contracts
  • Ask questions to our subject-matter experts and seasoned entrepreneurs  
  • Earn a 50% reduction on ICC’s Model Start-up Contracts thanks to a special code that will be shared during the event.

Which ICC Model Contracts are covered in this series?"

  • Term Sheet
  • Shareholders Agreement
  • Directors Services Agreement
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Employment Agreement

The series will cover additional ICC model contracts covering fundamental business topics for use by any company, new or old, large or small:

  • International Sale Contract
  • Agency Agreement
  • Distributorship Agreement
  • Franchising Agreement
  • Consultancy Agreement

Who should attend?

Small business owners, start-ups, legal advisors to SMEs and start-ups, in-house counsel and anyone who would gain from learning about making the right contract choices.

Because of the flexible provisions in the ICC Model Start-up Contracts, companies from all over the world can use these contracts, whether they do business domestically or internationally.

25 May 2021 - SME Lab#1: Starting to negotiate
2 June 2021 - SME Lab#2: Organising your company
29 June 2021 - SME Lab#3: Starting to operate

SME Lab#1: Starting to negotiate, 25 May, 11.00-12.30 CEST

Session focus: Disclosure of confidential information. Terms of engagement for investor- shareholder relations. Detailed provisions regarding the relationship among shareholders.


What kind of contract you should you put in place when you receive seed funding from an investor? What terms and clauses should you include in a shareholders agreement? Transforming a great idea into a functional business is an exciting venture, but it can also be an overwhelming experience. There are so many details to consider and decisions to make – from establishing a business plan and preparing the initial organisational documents to hiring staff. 

In this workshop, you will learn: 

  • About three of the main ICC Model Start-ups Contracts: the ICC Model Confidentiality Agreement, ICC Model Term Sheet, and ICC Model Shareholders Agreement
  • How you can quickly and easily adapt these models – and their provisions – for your own business requirements, saving you time and money.

SME Lab#2: Organising your company, 2 June, 11.00-12.30 CEST

Session focus: You have just set up your company and signed your Shareholders Agreement. What else do you need to take care of? Relations with the directors and the employees. Guidance on key IP matters.


Even if you start a company with your best friend and hire your family members, you will need to make sure that you have a formal agreement in place to protect you and your company from litigation – should things ever turn contentious. And what about your ideas? How do protect your unique business concepts from being stolen and sold on to another company?

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • About the following ICC Model Contracts: the ICC Model Employment Agreement, ICC Model Directors Services Agreement, the IP Guidance Document, and Boilerplate Clauses
  • How the flexible provisions of these model contracts can help you draft your contracts effectively and efficiently to protect your company without breaking the bank

SME Lab#3: Starting to operate, 29 June, 11.30-13.00 CEST

Session focus: Trading at home or internationally; managing operational risks; delivering the best possible services.


Unforeseen circumstances happen. But any successful entrepreneur will tell you that success is not achieved without keen awareness and some risk management. That is why contracts and services agreements are essential business tools for professional trading and business relationships alike. Why? Because whether you are offering a service or product to clients and/or working with vendors to create and deliver that service or product, having clear and comprehensive contracts in place will help shield you from any potential legal blowback should a dispute arise.

In this workshop, you will learn: 

  • About the following ICC Model Contracts: the ICC Model International Sale Agreement, ICC Model Distributorship Agreement, ICC Model Agency Agreement, ICC Model Franchising Agreement, and ICC Model Consultancy Agreement
  • Why these model contracts are significant to your business activities and how to use them
  • The flexible solutions these contracts offer to cross-border agreements 

Fabio Bortolloti

Partner, Buffa, Bortolloti, Mathis (BBM), Italy

Silvia Bortolloti

Secretary General, International Distribution Institute (IDI); Partner, BBM, Italy

Ercüment Erdem

Founder and Senior Partner, Erdem & Erdem, Turkey

Bettina Geisseler

Lawyer, Geisseler Law, Germany

Sergi Gimenez Binder

Partner, Augusta Abogados, Spain

Souleymane Gning

Founder and CEO, Asuraf, Senegal

Nikhilesh Goel

Co-Founder & Group CEO, Validus, Singapore

Karima-Catherine Goundiam

CEO, Red Dot Digital; Founder, B2BeeMatch, Canada

Emily O'Connor

Director, Trade and Investment, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris

Ecem Süsoy

Senior Associate, Erdem & Erdem, Turkey

Carlo Tabellini

Managing Partner, Studio Tabellini, Italy

Cecilia Xu Lindsey

Barrister; Arbitrator, 9 Stone Buildings Barristers’ Chambers, United Kingdom

Dates and venue

SME Lab#1: Starting to negotiate
>25 May, 11.00-12.30 CEST

SME Lab#2: Organising your company
>2 June, 11.00-12.30 CEST

SME Lab#3: Starting to operate
>29 June, 11.30-13.00 CEST


Registration fees Free of charge
Working language English
Disclaimer The photos and audiovisual recordings taken at this meeting/event may be used and published by ICC, its subsidiaries or affiliates, for informational or promotional purposes in printed materials or online, including on ICC websites and in social media. Participation in the meeting/event implies agreement to such use of photos or audiovisual recordings in which the participant may appear unless ICC receives written notification to the contrary.

Our conferences and events offer you an unrivalled opportunity to maximise your visibility to international business practitioners, legal experts and academics.

Please contact sponsorship@iccwbo.org to receive our sponsorship packages.

For further information, please contact:

Organising team

Sponsorship team

Jennie Irving

Manager, Global Events


Supported by