This post is based on a Quora question in which a user who already had invested money in his corporation wanted to know how he can invest an additional amount. My answer, reproduced below almost verbatim, starts by summarizing the steps for an initial equity investment.
Let’s assume you did your startup paperwork properly: The board of directors approved issuing some or all of the corporation’s authorized shares to you in exchange of payment of certain consideration; you deposited that consideration into the corporation’s bank account; the secretary recorded your share ownership on the corporation’s share transfer ledger and issued a share certificate to you.
In an article yesterday (Can’t Afford an Office? Rent a Desk for $275), the Wall Street Journal observed that use of shared workspaces – renting a desk in an open space, rather than renting an office – is increasing throughout the United States.
Such resources have been used for many years by technology startups here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The article specifically cited Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale (which is exploring expansion to other cities).
This post is based on a question that I answered on OnStartups.com. The short answer is “Yes, an undocumented immigrant can form a corporation.” The rest of this post is adapted from the full answer that I provided.
You can form a corporation – no problem. I have helped dozens of foreign clients (non-citizens, no social security number) go through that process.
I have helped dozens of foreign clients launch their businesses in the U.S. Almost every impediment to forming a corporation and running the business under that corporation can be overcome. But there’s one problem I have not been able to solve: Opening U.S. merchant accounts (for processing credit and debit card transactions) if companies does not have personnel in the U.S.
The first potential stumbling block is opening a bank account if the client has no U.S. personnel (and no home-country bank with an affiliate in the U.S.). See Post-formation Issues for Foreign Companies Coming to the U.S..
I frequently talk to individuals who are about to start new businesses. Sometimes, our conversation reveals that the nascent entrepreneur is:
- Age 30-something,
- Married, and
- Parent of a young child, or has a first child on the way.
When I learn this, I immediately ask, “Have you done any estate planning?” The answer invariably is “No.”
An article, “For Europe?s start-ups, Silicon Valley still calls”, was published yesterday by MarketWatch, part of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. It discusses why the tech entrepreneurs behind Europe’s start-ups continue to flock to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The article’s theme:
Divided by geography, language, regulation and, in some cases, just old-fashioned cultural prejudice, the region has struggled to shed fully its image as a place where men and women with ideas are born, but where they do not necessarily stay, prosper or secure funding.
This post about the state in which a startup should incorporate brings together points I have made in earlier posts (please see below) and is based on a comment I made on another Quora participant’s answer.
I admit to having a point of view that differs from that of many other lawyers. However, as explained toward the end of this post, my point of view results directly from the types of clients that I serve.
A few days ago, a first-time entrepreneur contacted me, asking that I advise him on such issues as employees vs. independent contractors, equity compensation, and the like. As we exchanged e-mails, however, I could see that there were fundamental business issues to which he had not given sufficient consideration. (more…)