When our company started as a side project 2 years ago, we had no bank account, no legal entity, and drew no salary. Things were simple.

When we were accepted into Techstars NYC, Localize transformed from a side project to a VC-backed company, overnight.

We had to…

  • Incorporate
  • Open a bank account
  • Set up payroll
  • Buy employee health insurance
  • Sign investment docs & employee agreements
  • File taxes

The boring stuff.

Side projects are nice because there’s nothing to worry about other thanbuilding product and talking to users. So we made it a priority to minimize and automate as much of the boring business stuff as possible.

Clerky

Clerky provides standard forms for incorporation, stock plan adoption, employee agreements, and other basic legal necessities.

They’ll file all of the paperwork necessary for creating a Delaware C-Corporation (this is what you want if plan to ever take money from investors). Total cost, including all Delaware fees, was around $700.

Clerky was built by lawyers from a major Silicon Valley law firm, and their forms are widely accepted.

Other companies that have used Clerky: Coinbase, Tilt, Meteor, MongoHQ, Parse, Segment.io, Svbtle, ZenPayroll.

Zenpayroll

Hands down the easiest payroll solution. Don’t even think about using ADP.

ZenPayroll has a wonderfully easy to use interface, and also handles basic payroll compliance filings and most importantly, ensures you’re paying enough taxes.

Bench

Every month Bench.co downloads your bank account statements and one of their on-staff bookkeepers enters and tracks all of your expenses. You receive a clean balance sheet and income statement every month, with access to a live human to answer questions.

This service was one was the hardest service for me to sign up for because it seems optional at the start, but I have no regrets. Before pulling the trigger on Bench.co I was spending hours manually entering expenses into Wave. After realizing the time I was burning on this, Bench.co was an obvious win.

Zenefits

Zenefits is a great tool for purchasing insurance for employees. You can easily compare rates, and it’s free.

One thing to note is that you can’t purchase individual policies with them. They only offer group plans (2+ people).

HelloSign

Get documents signed.

Simply upload a document, use their editor to mark where the signature fields are, and enter the email address for the counterparties.

There are you have it!

Let us know what you use to automate your startup in the comments.