US incorporation for Canadian startups

Written By August 29th, 2011 | Category: Legal, Money | 4 Comments

Reprinted with the permission of Carl Mercier.

In March 2009, I gave a talk entitled How I founded, bootstrapped, grew and sold my web startups at Mesh U in Toronto, Canada. Ever since, people have been fascinated by how I incorporated Karabunga (Defensio‘s parent company) in Delaware despite living in Canada, and yet maintained the simplicity and benefits of running a Canadian company.

I don’t think a month has since gone by without me having to explain in more detail how I did it. Today, I thought I’d finally share with the world what I learned.

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Coast Guard 47' Motor Lifeboat in Morro Bay, CA 04 Dec 2007

Editors note: This a guest post by Rajah Lehal, a Toronto based startup lawyer, who assists early and growth-stage entrepreneurs.

Like insurance, legal documentation can give business owners migraines, but it can also provide peace of mind. I’ve seen many situations where the natural course of a business forced founders (and us) to work backwards to try to fill in a gap (such as chasing their contributors to assign intellectual property back to the company, or signing a consulting agreement after the consulting engagement is over).

Doing these five simple things today can save you money and time later.

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My (successful) US work visa application, London, UK -- seriously!.JPG

I started working on CloudFlare while I was doing my MBA at Harvard. By the time graduation rolled around in June 2009, a classmate and I decided to move to California to pursue CloudFlare full-time.

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