In Silicon Valley, what are the first legal steps you should take before starting to work on a project that you intend to turn in to a company?

There are a few legal steps that you will need to take to turn your project into a company. The timing of these steps will depend on a host of factors. But in my experience, there are a few tasks that stand out above the rest and should be focused on from the beginning.

Founder’s Agreement

  • This is an agreement between you and any co-founders of the company that will govern the relationship between all founders
  • It will split up equity, define roles and responsibilities, and hold all founders accountable
  • Without a founder’s agreement in place, the company will have no structure to follow

Intellectual Property

  • A patent, trademark, or copyright should be applied for early in the process
  • Remember that even though you want to apply for these things early, you still need to make sure you are ready to apply before you do so

Incorporating and Structuring

  • When it is time, you will need to turn your project into a company — you do that by incorporating
  • You will choose your structure: Partnership, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp — different forms have different pros and cons so choose whichever is best for you
  • Once you choose a structure, you will get a tax identification number and will be ready to start doing business

This is not a full list — there are many other tasks that you will need to complete to turn your project into a company. It will be beneficial for you to find an attorney to help you complete these tasks. It can be tough to find quality, affordable legal help at this stage. Especially in Silicon Valley.

That is why we started LawTrades. We are trying to disrupt the legal space and give entrepreneurs and small businesses the resources to get the quality legal help that they need at an affordable price. Visit our website to see how we can help you!