How does Gust Launch compare to Stripe Atlas, Clerky or Lawtrades for startup incorporation?
Great question, because while all four services can be used to start a business, they each come at it from completely different directions, and therefore do different things.As the CEO of Gust, I obviously am not a disinterested party, but let me take a crack at describing the four different approaches. (By the way, these are all reputable services, have all helped many companies get started, and can all pryou with value, depending on what you're looking for.)LawTrades is a referral service that provides useful background information and educational materials on starting up a business, connects you with experienced, cost effective, attorneys, and then gets out of the way. You fill out an online form indicating what you want legal help with, and LawTrades returns a price quote from one of the attorneys in its network. Once you accept it, you deal directly with the attorney on that matter. Because of this, the attorney can help incorporate you as a C Corp or an LLC, in Delaware or any other state, and do as much or little of the paperwork and process as you are interested in paying for.Clerky is an online solution for automated legal paperwork for startups. Intended as an alternative to engaging an attorney, the site requests information from you, fills out the forms needed to set up a company as a Delaware C corporation, and then passes them to a third party partner in Delaware to file them with the state and serve as your Registered Agent. Additional optional services include post-incorporation paperwork and Foreign Qualification in your home state.Stripe Atlas is a service of Stripe, the online payment processing company. Designed initially for international founders seeking to set up a US corporation, it is beginning to expand to US founders, but requires you to apply and be accepted. Similar to Clerky, it fills out the paperwork and submits it through a partner Registered Agent in Delaware for filing. But it then goes a number of steps further, arranging to open a bank account for the newly formed company, setting up a payment processing account with Stripe, and providing access to some optional startup services, including a library of legal forms and startup credit for online web hosting.What all three of these offerings have in common is that they are one-time, transactional services designed to simplify the company formation process. Costs for all them will fall somewhere in the range of $500–$1500 (depending on which one, and which optional services you choose.) When you complete the process, you will be incorporated and sent off into the world, ready to move on by yourself knowing that you are starting with a clean corporate structure.Gust Launch is something completely different. Rather than a one-time transaction, it is an ongoing SaaS platform that is actually a Company as a Service™. With Gust Launch, all of the company formation services described above (and quite a bit more) are effectively thrown in at no cost, included in an ongoing services platform that will function as the legal, financial, accounting and operating backbone of your company, from before you start until your eventual exit.At a cost as low as $300, Gust incorporates you as a Delaware C Corp (directly, Gust itself is a Delaware Registered Agent), files with the IRS for your tax ID, files your Foreign Qualification in your home state, handles all of your post incorporation legal setup, opens your bank account, establishes your cap table online, and provides the ongoing legal document services necessary to keep everything accurate, coordinated and investor-ready.When you’re ready to start full operations, additional modules can be added on to prexactly the functionality you need, from introductions to top tier lawyers who will pryou with one free hour of legal services each month to all of the financial setup and operations for a pre-revenue company, and eventually to the accounting, payment processing, billing and bookkeeping needed for revenue-generating companies.By establishing and maintaining your startup on a standardized, auditable, managed platform for all of its legal, equity, accounting and financial needs, the effect of Gust Launch is to prepare and support the company for growth, scalability and an eventual exit.