Skip to content

Form Your Startup

When starting a new business venture, entrepreneurs need to make sure they comply with a range of legal requirements including financial regulations, tax obligations, and employment laws. By making sure your new company has its legal bases covered, you can focus on growing your business.

We compiled a list of resources with the help of the UW School of Law Entrepreneurial Law Clinic to point you in the right direction. These include: federal resources and information on planning, launching, managing, and growing your small business; information about forming and licensing your business; and advice, workshops and free resources for entrepreneurs. Your CoMotion Innovation Manager will also be a valuable resource in these efforts.

UW Resources

Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) is an innovative clinic serving entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. The ELC teams law and business students with pro bono attorneys and business advisors. Together they provide critical early-stage legal and business counseling to technology entrepreneurs, small business owners, social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and University of Washington and Institute for Translational Health Sciences faculty researchers.

Free Legal Consultations with the University of Washington School of Law Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and The Seattle Public Library:

Free legal consults are offered monthly through the UW Law Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and The Seattle Public Library’s Library to Business Program. These free 30-minute consultation sessions offer you the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from an attorney with substantial corporate and intellectual property law experience.  Check The Seattle Public Library events calendar and put “legal” or “law” in the keyword search box to see the event schedule and sign-up for a consultation. (For trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents, you would want to attend an Intellectual Property (IP) consultation. For questions about privacy, contracts, business entities, shares/equity, or other business topics, you would want to attend a corporate law consultation).

Top Ten Ways to Screw up your Startup (Video)

From “Fundamentals for Startups” video library, featuring Andy Albertson of Fenwick.

UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship Startup Resources

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship has vetted startup resources and identified what they consider to be the best materials to help you achieve your startup goals. Explore the “Launch” and “Legal” sections of this Startup Resources website for pertinent information about forming your startup.

External Resources

The UW cannot endorse or recommend legal or other counsel. As with all information found on the internet, we recommend startup teams identify a number of sources when searching for information and that they work with their networks to identify the most appropriate path forward.

Cooley Go

Cooley GO is a microsite that provides access to guidance in a variety of areas and offers the ability to generate core legal documents, including a number of financing documents. Cooley GO is regularly updated with new topics, content, features and Cooley’s quarterly Venture Financing Report.

The Startup Law Blog

Health Insurance

Washington is one of the few states that allows for health insurance trusts in industry verticals, which essentially allows small companies in those verticals to access health insurance as one large risk group. These trusts make it possible for startups with as few as two employees to offer benefits competitive with UW or other large companies like Microsoft. Here is a list of some of them:

  • ALLtech Benefits serves the technology vertical and purchases health insurance from Regence. ALLtech works with preferred carriers to provide the most cost-effective, comprehensive benefits including Medical and Dental plans, Vision, EAP, Life/AD&D and Disability.
  • Cleantech Alliance offers health insurance to clean tech companies through its CleanTech Alliance Health Trust
  • Life Science WA offers health insurance to its members
  • WTIA offers health insurance to its members. It partners with Premera.

Incorporation Resources

What is a Private Placement Memorandum?

PPMs are disclosure documents used by small businesses raising money through private securities transactions. Learn more.