Here at Clerky, we build software to make legal paperwork easier for startups and their attorneys. We are the most popular way for startups to get formation paperwork done, and have products covering everything else typical seed-stage startups need.

Chris and I started Clerky in 2011. As startup attorneys, we noticed that many startups had costly errors with their legal paperwork — usually the result of using low-quality services or DIY approaches. With our engineering backgrounds, we knew that this problem could be solved through software built with the right legal expertise. Thus, Clerky was born.

As startup attorneys, we did a lot of legal paperwork for founders. But because we did the work ourselves, and because every email came with a steep price tag attached to it, we weren't exposed to the full range of questions we get at Clerky. As a result of having largely unfiltered feedback from founders, and informed by our legal expertise, Chris and I have developed unique insight into what causes the most confusion for founders. This handbook is designed to help founders avoid common areas of confusion, by providing a solid foundation of legal knowledge.

This handbook is organized into four sections. The first, Core Concepts, is meant to provide a general background on how corporations work. It's a good starting point, even if you already have some familiarity with the subject matter. The remaining sections, Formation, Fundraising, and Hiring, focus on the three major areas of legal activity for startups.

We've had a fun time putting this handbook together with our amazing editorial board. We hope it proves a useful resource. If you have any feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out - we'd love to hear from you!

ceo signature

Darby Wong
Co-Founder and CEO
Clerky, Inc.

Edited by 21 leading startup attorneys, with over 425 years of combined experience.