There’s a lot of information about startup incorporation on the internet, but it’s often wrong or misleading, even though it might appear credible. Not only that, but seemingly credible resources will often contradict each other.

If you're a startup founder, how do you reconcile everything? We wrote this handbook to help solve this problem.

You can trust the content in this handbook because we’re two experienced startup attorneys. We worked in one of the top startup law practices in Silicon Valley and have relationships with many of the top startup attorneys across the country. And because we run Clerky, we’ve probably thought more deeply about startup incorporation than anyone else.

We’ll first go over what incorporation is and why startups do it. We’ll then discuss timing considerations so you can determine when to incorporate your startup. Finally, we’ll go into decisions you might make when you incorporate. Please note that the scope of this handbook is limited to incorporation. For information about the startup formation steps that come after incorporation, see Formation in our Legal Concepts handbook.

While you can read the handbook from start to finish, you may find it more efficient to skip around to the sections you’re most interested in. We’ll provide you with what you need to know about a given topic. Our goal is to be objective, so we’ll let you know if there is a lack of consensus about anything. We’ll also highlight and debunk common misconceptions.

Please enjoy!

ceo signature

Darby Wong
Co-Founder and CEO
Clerky, Inc.

P.S. — If there’s anything you’re curious about that we missed, please let us know! And if you’re a startup attorney and have feedback about anything, we’d love to hear from you as well.