How is Clerky different from other online services?
Clerky is different from other online services for startup incorporation in a few important ways.
Obsession with Legal Quality
We provide the best chance of getting legal paperwork done without problems (as long as you follow all the instructions, of course). When legal paperwork has problems, there’s a good chance you’ll need to spend a lot of time and money to fix those problems later on.
You might think that if an online legal service is popular, it probably has adequate legal quality. Surprisingly, this isn’t the case, because the market is broken. But even though the market doesn’t reward legal quality, we’ve been focused on it from the beginning. It’s why we started Clerky. Most people start online legal services because they want to make business formations fast and cheap. We started Clerky because we saw startups spending a lot of time and money fixing problems caused by other online legal services.
Some of these other services listen to feedback from startup attorneys and gradually change how they work to stop causing problems that have been caught. People reviewing paperwork generated after those changes might think those services are comparable to Clerky. But they’re not, because for a long time before that, they were causing serious problems for founders that used them. And when these services make changes in the future, there’s a good chance they’ll start causing problems again. Legal quality isn’t about relying on your customer’s attorneys to point out problems, it’s about having the right expertise and putting in the work to prevent those problems in the first place.
When Y Combinator funds an unincorporated startup, I send the founders to Clerky and know everything will be done correctly.
Clerky founders Darby Wong and Chris Field
Run by Startup Attorneys
Clerky isn’t a law firm and we aren’t attorneys for our customers. But we are run by experienced startup attorneys who worked at one of the top startup legal practices in Silicon Valley.
This matters because it’s not enough to care about legal quality — you also need the experience and expertise to make the right decisions. There are some online services that make an effort to avoid causing problems for their customers. Unfortunately, because they don’t have the right experience and expertise, they inevitably fail.
Some online services partner with law firms in an attempt to get that experience and expertise. But from what we’ve seen, the lawyers at those firms work as outside consultants and don’t have a meaningful impact. Law firms may provide basic forms to other online legal services, but they’re not overseeing everything, catching non-obvious pitfalls, and making sure legal quality is prioritized over competing objectives.
Focus on Legal Paperwork
Many online legal services aimed at startups advertise a large variety of products and services, extending beyond legal paperwork to banking, payroll, taxes, registered agent service, and more. We know how difficult it is to start a startup, so we understand the appeal of a service that can handle setting up administrative infrastructure for you all at once.
But in our experience, online services that go beyond legal paperwork end up spreading themselves too thin. While these services are superficially appealing, growing startups quickly run into problems or limitations and have to spend time replacing each part of the stack with more capable products and services. This often happens at the worst possible time, when founders need to be focusing on scaling and not administrative infrastructure.
We don’t want our customers to experience this, so we’re focused on being the best online service for legal paperwork. This means an unparalleled focus on legal quality, full-featured software that makes it easy to work with co-founders and attorneys, and highly trained customer support that won’t lead you astray. With Clerky, you can make sure you’re using the right products and services from the start.