Foundry Law Group Blog

Where should you Incorporate: Delaware or WA??

If you are a Startup and you are headquartered here in the State of Washington, more often then not, you are better off incorporating in the State of Washington. Yes, I do know that Delaware has strong case law and VC’s and angel investors may be more comfortable with Delaware but it does not mean its the best (or only) option for your Start up.

Here is a list of reasons you SHOULD incorporate in WA if you are located here:

  1. Washington Courts usually look to Delaware courts as precedent anyways. WA courts recognize the depth of case law that DE courts have handled and will consider their decisions as persuasive.
  2. If you get sued in the State of Washington you get to keep your attorney or hire a local legal counsel. You will not have to go to Delaware or hire someone there to defend you.
  3. It’s cheaper to incorporate here and you can be your own registered agent. If you incorporate in Delaware you will have to pay the filing fees, plus maintain a registered agent in the State, and file as a ‘foreign’ corporation in the State of Washington and depending on the type of business you have in Washington you might have to get a city license as well.
  4. WASHINGTON CORPORATIONS RECEIVE FUNDING from Venture Capital Firms (See reports on Techflash, Geekwire, etc.).  You can even look up the firms that received funding and it might surprise you to find out that a lot of them are incorporated here in WA.  However, If for some reason a Venture Capitalist/Investor asked you to reincorporate to DE it wouldn’t be that hard to do so don’t sweat it.

If you still want to incorporate in Delaware don’t worry I can’ help you do that but I may ask you why and ask if one of the reasons below applies to your situation?

Here are some reasons why you might incorporate in DE and reject what I have stated above.

  • The VC told you to.
  • The Angel Investor to asked you to.
  • You plan on having ‘brick and mortar’ businesses all around the country.
  • You are thinking about taking your business to the international level.
  • You are planning on getting funding from VC’s around the world/nation.
  • Your headquarters are not in the State of WA.

If you would like to discuss this more please feel free to contact me.

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