Check List

Make sure that you know what are doing while starting a company.


  1. Build a startup team.
  2. Agree on an idea.
  3. Start with the end goal
    • the founders need to agree on the exit strategy now.
  4. Agree on intellectual property ownership.
  5. Agree on the time and money each of the founders will contribute.
  6. Agree on how you will handle personal guarantees, credit cards and other personal liabilities.
    • For example your partner makes an overdraft on his credit card and says that he wants to compensate it from company's account. Will you allow him to do that?
  7. Agree on founder compensation and equity allocation.
  8. Agree on vesting.
    • It’s actually reverse vesting (getting shares upfront)
  9. Agree on the capital structure. In other words, project what the capital structure and share register will look like after three or four financings.
  10. Confirm the previous steps by signing employment agreements and Protection of Corporate Interest Agreements.
  11. Agree on company Articles.
  12. Select a corporate jurisdiction.
  13. Agree on the company officers and directors.
    • write it on paper and sign it!
  14. Find a least one very experienced advisor, mentor and/or coach.
  15. Incorporate the company
  16. Have the first shareholders meeting and the first Annual General Meeting to elect the board.
  17. Have the first board meeting to ‘hire’ the officers and give them the authority to conduct business.
    • Not doing it properly will let you re-sign every documents in the company’s history before you could close on a financing.
  18. Agree on the amount of equity for future employees and directors.
  19. Set up the equity trusts for future employees and directors.
  20. Create a legal share register.
  21. Have a board meeting to approve the capital structure and share register
  22. Create an electronic minute book.
  23. Create a 12 month budget and three year financial projections.
  24. Write a business plan.
    • To check founder alignment. May only need one page of text, 12 month budget, three year projections and capital structure.
  25. Think carefully about whether there is anything else you need in a founding shareholders agreement.
  26. Agree on signing authorities for treasury management, checks and other important documents.
  27. Open a bank account.
    • at a bank with good online access and an interface to pay your taxes online
  28. Get a simple subscription agreement for the founders' investment.
  29. Now the founders can write the checks to contribute their startup capital.
  30. Set up your accounting system.
    • find an accountant to check it out
  31. Learn about all of the taxesyour company will have to pay.
  32. Get insurance.
  33. Start working on the product, marketing, sales, recruiting, strategic relationships and exit strategy.