Im involved in a start up and I fear that at some point in the future my co-founder is going to screw me out my position or shares. What protections can I setup and what should I do avoid this from happening in the future.
In addition to having a strong contracts between partners, I usually try to apply the following rules (totally or partially, depending on your case). They can be a part of the contract.
The most appropriate method is the ability to define, by contract, how a partner "exit" the company in case it's necessary. The method I used successfully in the past is the following:
This system has two advantages:
Here are two additional useful resources:
Hmnn, honestly, your post reads like a red flag to me.
Can you make your thoughts and feelings about this clearer to yourself?
On a very high level, my immediate gut reaction is:
Regarding how to protect against this, @Pierre 303 already has good pointers for you. But it's a very comprehensive subject, and there is no single way to do it that is 'best' or always works. Some pointers:
I think the time-appropriate phrase is that you're afraid you're going to be Zuckerburged.
You need to get a partnership agreement in place that outlines a) how the partnership can be disbanded (Pierre 303's response is one such clause) and b) vesting schedules for the both of you.