New Business Formation Checklist

By Spartina     Add your comments

It can seem overwhelming when you start a new company, trying to track all the steps. Here they are in a list.

Get expert legal help right from the start as you form your new business. As an aid to working with your lawyers, here’s a checklist we got from our lawyer, so we could follow along. Some of this is related to legal, some to management, and some to accounting, but it’s nice to have it all in one place.

1. Identify Founder group; determine ownership percentage, vesting provisions

2. Choose company name; trademark search and registration, domain name search and registration; identify trademark counsel

3. Determine roles, responsibilities, mutual expectations; financing by founders; titles, work commitments, hierarchy

4. Determine organization type; place of formation; C corporation, S corporation, LLC, etc.

5. Prepare Articles, bylaws, organizational consents; Master Application, Initial Annual Report

6. Prepare Founder’s Stock Purchase Agreements, Proprietary Inventions Agreement

7. Prepare Shareholder Agreement or Operating Agreement, governance provisions (voting majority), buy-sell provisions

8. Prepare Form of Employment Agreement, NDA; standardize

9. Prepare Equity Incentive Plan, Form of Option or Stock Grant Agreement (if applicable)

10. Prepare Form of Consultant Agreement; standardize

11. Set up Accounting System; identify bookkeeper

12. Determine places (City, State) in which the entity will do business

13. Obtain all licenses and permits; determine state/local requirements

14. Identify bank, open account; obtain tax i.d. number

15. Fund enterprise

16. Secure Intellectual property; copyright, patents, etc.

17. Plan for risk, obtain business insurance; identify insurance broker

18. Fulfill all federal, state and local tax requirements; payroll, other periodic non-income tax reporting

19. Obtain office space, equipment and suppliers

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