The first thing to think about doing is incorporating or filing as some sort of legally recognized business entity. Typically, you can do these things yourself and the necessary legal steps/documents should be detailed on your State’s Secretary of State website. They usually are accompanied by a pretty good explanation of how/what to do. Regarding when to actually file/incorporate, take look at this article;.
But I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Although you can do this on your own, you definitely will want at least some preliminary legal advice.
Your biggest concerns should be what to file as, how to structure your company, IP rights between founders, and how to secure investors. All of these things are extremely important to your company, so you want to make sure you are doing everything right.
The biggest issue startups run into, is using boiler-plate or standard forms found off Google for these business steps. Down the line, when business is booming (or, HOPEFULLY NOT, the business goes under), disputes can arise as to equity, decision making, or company objectives. If you setup your company correctly from the get-go, you can avoid these problems and better prepare your startup for success.
I completely understand how tough it is to shell out the cash on a lawyer right away. I have founded two separate startups, and had to learn this lesson the hard way. But I can certainly say, my lawyer is one of the most important additions to my companies’ corporate structure.
To remedy the problem startups have finding lawyers at low costs, we started. We have helped thousands of startups find lawyers for their specific needs, without having to absorb insane legal costs. Startups are understandably pressed for time, so we designed our service to allow users to connect with attorneys 24/7, and get most legal advice/guidance right through our web-platform.
In reality, if you want to do this right, and start off on solid-footing, contacting a lawyer really is the best way. I hope this answer is somewhat helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally; I have helped so many founders connect with attorneys right away. Always happy to help a fellow startup!