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Ask HN: How much did it cost to setup the legal foundations for your startup?
22 points by yoseph on Oct 25, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
Our startup is based in Toronto, Canada. We're looking at getting our legal foundations put in place and want to gauge how much that might cost.

By legal foundations, we mean items like a shareholders' agreement, sorting out IP rights, etc.

Our total costs for all the initial docs from Silicon Valley lawyers were $2,000. I have seen costs range from $2,000 up to $15,000 (the higher range was usually because fees were deferred until fundraising or more IP was involved).

Waterloo, Ontario startup chiming in.

Incorporated for $200(ish) online with Industry Canada. Very simple process. To do our term sheet/NDA/employment agreements we turned to James Smith from Labarge Weinstein (Ottawa). Excellent startup lawyer who travels all over Canada. No upfront costs for the minor paperwork, he's into building longterm relationships.

I have no affiliation with this site, or any experience with their services, but Pinsky Law in Toronto is offering several promotions for startups right now: http://www.pinskylaw.ca/News/startup_legal_package.htm there are several more promotions for trademarks, IP etc.

Also take a look through their site, lots of information there for you.

Incorporation in US would cost between $200 - $400.

The other stuff you mentioned come under Formation Services package (fixed fee) offered by most startup law firms - the fee for this generally ranges between $3K - $5K. And you can negotiate to defer this fee with most of the law firms, until one of these triggers occur - funding, or revenue, or exit.

Vancouver here.

$15,000 - incorporation, shareholders agreement, minor angel investment, and employment agreements.

anyone know of the main differences between setting up in the usa vs canada? is it better to set up in one or the other (if you're coming from the canadian side)?

anyone set up shop in both?

ours was about 2K. although, they overbilled us at nearly 3K so make sure you get estimates in writing.

Orrick offers startups a package that costs nothing until they raise 500K+ in funding, and then they take their fee.

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