• February 2019
    M T W T F S S
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Should I use Clerky or hire a startup lawyer? Are there significant trade-offs associated with Clerky? How difficult is it for a non-lawyer to amend the Clerky docs to address the non-compete, lack of equity incentive plans and other shortcomings?

Although services such as Clerky can give startups a quick and easy way to do this work, there are definitely some concerns you may have if you don’t have legal advice moving forward. The two problems you mentioned in your question are definitely smaller issues that you need to be weary of, but there can also be other complications.

Your startup is your baby, your creation, essentially your everything. When forming your startup, you want create an entity that is personally designed and tailored to the specifics of your company. Using basic templates and boilerplate documents can miss many aspects of formation that you may want to include. Simply trying to add-in or take out this information on these types of forms can be difficult and confusing and can also result in overlooking vital details.

That being said, you sound like you have a good understanding of what you are looking for and how you want to structure your company. Still, there are common issues founders will run into when doing these things on their own.

A lot of times, the documents you are looking for can be easily supplied by startup attorneys at low cost. You should take a look at our site, LawTrades. We pre-screen all of our attorneys, which have an average of 10+ years experience. You can connect with our lawyers 24/7 directly through our web-platform, which means these documents can be drafted and exchanged between you and you lawyer without the hassle of in-person meetings.

Realistically, so many startups use Clerky or other similar services and are successful. So don’t think I am saying its impossible for you to do this completely on your own. However, I really think it would be wise to at least get some initial legal advice about what you want to do before moving ahead. The worst possible scenario is running into a problem down the road that could have been fixed or avoided in the formation process.

I have founded two separate startups, and I completely understand how much you want to avoid hiring a lawyer. I was the same way in the beginning. But, as time has gone on, I realize now how important a lawyer can be. There have been numerous occasions where my lawyer has helped steer clear of disastrous situations, simply through their legal guidance.

Ultimately, my best advice is to at least look around and get some basic legal advice about your startup. Despite the initial cost of hiring a lawyer, you will end up saving money over time because you took the time to form the best possible company.

I hope this answer is helpful. I am always eager to help out fellow startups, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything else I can do. Best of Luck!!

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