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I'm an Israeli expat researcher in the Netherlands, and I'm about to get an offer from a tech company based in Texas. The offer will initially be to work remotely, and at some point (probably when/if I'm granted a visa) to move to the US and continue working there. My initial status (employee vs contractor) is yet to be determined, but eventually it's going to be a 'proper' employee.

The company I'm going to work for is very small, so in many senses I'm their first hire and first serious contract where not everything is clear and agreed among friend in advance.

In the initial "negotiations" discussion I had with one of them, they assumed we would talk mostly/only about the amount of money to be paid and the amount of equity to be offered (and maybe some schedules). But I obviously brought up several other fundamental issues, such as IP rights, various social benefits, expenses etc. This was met with a bit of surprise, but followed by the realization that much of this needs to be agreed and probably formalized.

So now I'm in a situation where we're discussing what kinds of things to put in the contract. I'm not talking about boilerplate legalistic phrasing of things, but the "meat" of the conditions. I'm going to get an offer with a bunch of such terms that the company thinks should be placed in the contract, but I will likely add some of my own.

If this were back in Israel, I think I would have most of everything covered, since I know the labor laws more or less, I know how various things get interpreted, I know what's customary and what's considered outlandish etc. But in my condition it really feels like I'm writing something from scratch which could contain basically anything; and they're not constrained by corporate procedures and past practice.

My questions are, therefore:

  • Are there templates or sample contracts I could consult, at least for inspiration, that are relevant to my condition?
  • What are some subjects or conditions you think are important for me to place in the contract?
  • What are some subjects or conditions you think are important for me to avoid having in the contract?

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