Startup Law 101 - HN Posts, FAQ

The Startup Law 101 Series has been well-received over the years but had lain dormant for some time after initial articles covering some basics of startups.

Now revamped, Startup Law 101 features links to grellas posts on Hacker News: these are timely discussions about issues of interest to founders and their companies: they sometimes go well beyond basics, sometimes touch upon topical items, and generally are of more varied interest than are the basic topics which still follow below. "Upvotes" roughly indicate how well the posts were received (10+ = good).

You can now expect regular updates on HN posts going forward.

Links to Select "grellas" Hacker News Posts:

Discussing SAFEs as pioneered by Y Combinator (convertible securities, bridge financing) (77 upvotes)

Discussing convertible notes vs. early equity financing and addressing Mark Suster's argument against convertible notes (convertible notes, bridge financing) (37 upvotes)

Discussing the Kima15 offering ($150K for 15% in 15 days) (incubators, convertible notes vs. early equity financing) (103 upvotes)

Discussing the Engineer's Guide to Stock Options, found here (equity incentives, 83(b)) (85 upvotes)

Discussing taxation of stock options (equity incentives, 83(b) (46 upvotes)

Discussing Pinterest and the 90-day stock option expiration rule (equity incentives, ISOs, NQOs) (71 upvotes)

Discussing Qualified Small Business (QSB) stock (equity incentives, on-again-off-again ability potentially to exclude up to $10M in fed cap gain and AMT) (23 upvotes)

Discussing Y Combinator's founder-friendly term sheet, found here (funding rounds) (17 upvotes)

Discussing Paul Graham's thoughts on perils of dealing with corpdev, found here (M&A, founder desperation risks)) (45 upvotes)

Discussing Y Combinator as an innovative venture capital firm (VCs, incubators) (52 upvotes)

Discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's Aero "cable service" ruling, found here (copyright, IP, cloud services)) (66 upvotes)

Discussing Judge Chin's Google Books decision, found here (copyright, IP, fair use) (144 upvotes)

Discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's Alice Corp. ruling, found here (business method patents, IP, patentability and abstract ideas) (56 upvotes)

Discussing why the Alice Corp. case isn't about killing off software patents (software patents, IP, patentability and abstract ideas) (43 upvotes)

Discussing tax laws and tech service providers (employee vs. contractor, taxes and independent contractors, why they make you incorporate to do tech consulting work) (217 upvotes)

Discussing employee non-compete clauses (non-compete, restraints on trade) (24 upvotes)

Discussing non-disparagement clauses (post-employment restraints, non-disparagement) (42 upvotes)

Discussing Groklaw RIP (legal commentary on startup issues) (194 upvotes)

Discussing whether we are in a tech bubble, regarding a tongue-in-cheek piece found here (Michael Arrington, tech economic insanity, "blubble" issues) (58 upvotes)

Discussing how startup disruption meets regulatory blowback (Tesla direct sales, public policy limits on unfettered private choice) (94 upvotes)

Startup Law 101 Basics
Startup Law 101 Series - Distinctive legal aspects of forming a startup business with a founding team.
Startup Law 101 Series - Advantages and disadvantages of setting up a startup business in Delaware.
Startup Law 101 Series - What distinguishes your "founders' firm" from large law firms offering startup business legal services?
Startup Law 101 Series - What is an 83(b) election and how does it work in practice?
Startup Law 101 Series - Ten essential legal tips to consider with a startup at formation.
Startup Law 101 Series - What is restricted stock and how is it used in my startup?
Startup Law 101 Series - When should I set up an entity for my startup business?
Startup Law 101 Series - What every entrepreneur should know about business law.
Startup Law 101 Series - Mistakes founders make - Ill-documented relationships.
Startup Law 101 Series - Mistakes founders make - Misunderstanding capitalization.
Startup Law 101 Series - Mistakes founders make - Misusing form contracts.
Startup Law 101 Series - Mistakes founders make - Neglecting securities laws.
Startup Law 101 Series - Tips from a business lawyer on becoming a founder.
Startup Law 101 Series - Why founders should use cheap stock in capitalizing their startups.
Startup Law 101 Series - Key legal rules for who owns the IP relating to your startup (work-for-hire).
Startup Law 101 Series - High-level legal tips to consider when about to get acquired.
Additional non-law related items of interest:
Silicon Valley Circa 1956 - A Valley That Is No More

Writing Skills - What Makes for Good Legal Writing
Noah Webster's pre-1913 dictionary

 

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