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Ask PG: Can you paste paperwork used to get YC startups incorporated?
60 points by newbcoder on Apr 26, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments
I'm in CA, and about to form a corporation. I've read lots of conflicting things on the web. I was going to pay to talk to a lawyer. Then it hit me, YC does this all the time, numerous times a year. They must have this process highly optimized.

Can you share the documents you use to get YC startups incorporated, along with administrative info (things like: pay franchise tax every year) that needs to be covered?


Good idea. We should do something like this. I can't do it, though. Jessica is the one who does all this stuff. Maybe she'll post something. But if she does it won't be soon, because she is busy now getting this summer's startups set up.

It's be great if you could. I just talked to Yokum this past Friday and he conceded that these docs aren't out there: http://www.sachinagarwal.com/how-to-legally-incorporate-your...

One useful resource: (Just in case, if you have not seen it before.)


Some previous related discussions here:




The trick with incorporation is not the formation of the company as seen by the secretary of state's office. As a previous poster pointed out, that's a standard form with nothing that will make or break your startup.

What matters initially is the founder agreement structure. Later on, the terms of the first round of funding.

YC and TheFunded.com already put out there terms for funding and terms for founders. I believe with license to use on your own startup.

I dunno how it is in CA, but here you just fill out a simple form on the state website to incorporate. I don't think pg posting the YC info will help you very much, since its very basic stuff like name and address.

The administrative things, you don't really need YC specific info either, just ask one of many CA based startups on here.

What I'd appreciate seeing is the YC shareholder's agreement. It will be time for us to incorporate soon, but we've been putting it off because we don't know how to handle setting up things like a dispute resolution mechanism, vesting, terms in case one of the founders wants to sell to a third-party, etc.

YC isn't a charity. They compete in a marketplace like any other business. Any optimization you speak of is a competitive advantage. Why would they comply with your request?

Somewhat relevant:


What do I have to lose by asking?

I never implied that you had anything to lose; I think it's an interesting question.

I asked, "why would they comply with your request" because I was interested if you thought it made sense for them to do so.

I suppose it comes down to whether they gain more through such a release via others contributing back and improving the process, paperwork, etc. while keeping in mind the insight and potential efficiencies provided to competitors in doing so.

Has anyone tried an open source/creative commons type licensing and repository for standard legal documents? Does such a thing exist?

Series AA Equity Financing Documents have been open sourced by Y Combinator.


Highly "optimized" means they can incorporate lots of companies in a short amount of time.

The value of YC lies in the advice and expertise of PG, RTM, TB, JL ... and the YC alum network; probably not in their ability to get startups incorporated 1 week faster than the competitor.

Publishing these documents would be an inconvenience, not a death blow to YC. By asking, I'm hoping this get upvoted, others also post comments requesting the same, and maybe this'll push YC over the energy barrier to organize + document the process (after they realize how many would be founders they will help).

[In my case, I have iPhone apps ready; and would like limited liability before releasing them (in this day & age, when people sue each other for the silliest reasons)]

> Has anyone tried an open source/creative commons type licensing and repository for standard legal documents? Does such a thing exist?

I'm building something like that at http://www.firstdrafter.com - a freemium site.

>What do I have to lose by asking?

The spirit of a go-getter! Rock on man, good luck!

Anyone running an accelerator will certainly have people around that understand how to set up a corporation.

The programming equivalent would be trying to fight off competition by not showing them your ~/.emacs.

i think YC/PG has shared many things here and more they shared the more they have become popular, they have got more success, more press and more reputation & respects among startups, VCs and angels... so I think some tips & hints for how to start a starups in a right legal way is in fact going to help the whole startup community...

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