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Very possible this has been covered, but how would a startup execute proactive due diligence to counter such claims from go to exit?

Proactive due diligence on the side of the company?

Leading up to investment rounds it is common to create a "Data Room" with all of your corporate documents. This is shared with the investors. If you spend a lot of internal effort to keep this Data Room complete and accurate, then you might find things that have been missed.

But to be truly proactive is to get proper legal advice at every stage of your company so that these issues never happen in the first place. (Thinking of firing a cofounder? Talk to you lawyer, understand the process, follow it by the book).

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