What Is the “Walker Startup Package”?

by Scott Edward Walker on October 27th, 2015

I get calls and questions all the time about our Startup Package.  Below is a brief clip from “This Week in Startups” which should be helpful.

As I discuss with uber-entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis (the founder and host of the show), the Startup Package is a flat-fee package designed for entrepreneurs and founders who are looking to structure their startup properly (e.g., Delaware corporation) and to button-down the key legal issues between/among the co-founders, including equity splits, vesting schedules, assignment of intellectual property and securities-law issues.

We charge a flat fee of $2,000, plus filing fees, for up to three co-founders and it includes unlimited phone calls and emails.  Indeed, we have completed 400+ Startup Packages for our clients, and the appeal is obvious: no billable hours.  Thus, founders never have to worry about picking-up the phone and asking us questions.

Another appealing component of the Startup Package is that it is handled by a lawyer with 10+ years of startup experience — not some junior associate or paralegal (like at many of the big firms).  You thus get the personal attention that you need.

Finally, in case you’re interested, I have set forth below our legal checklist for startups.  Cheers, Scott

Legal Checklist for Startups

1.  Form a corporation — not an LLC (see post here) or a partnership (see post here).

2.  Incorporate in Delaware and qualify the company to do business in the state in which its principal office is located (see #2 here).

3.  Set-up vesting schedules for the founders (see post here) and file 83(b) elections with the IRS (see #3 here).

4.  Button-down IP ownership and assignment issues (see post here).

5.  Split the equity based on prior contributions and expectations going forward, not necessarily equally (see post here).

6.  If you hire any employees, make sure you don’t misclassify them as an independent contractor or fail to pay them at least the minimum wage (see post here).

7.  Only raise funds from “accredited investors” (see post here) and don’t pay anyone a commission for raising funds for you unless they are a registered broker-dealer (see post here).

8.  Put proper privacy policies in place and make sure you adhere to them (see post here).

9.  Don’t issue stock options unless a proper option plan is in place and a valuation has been done in compliance with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (see post here).

10.  Don’t give your lawyers equity (see post here); don’t use your investors’ lawyers (see post here); and there are ways of cutting legal fees in half (see post here).

Note: none of this is rocket science.  But as the late, great super-lawyer and VC Craig Johnson wrote in the book, The Silicon Valley Edge: A Habitat for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, “Starting companies is a lot like launching rockets: if you’re a tenth of a degree off at launch, you may be a thousand miles off downrange.”

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