Legal, Tax, and Accounting July 31, 2020

What are your thoughts on Stripe Atlas?

Ashish Kumar Sahoo @liveashish

Have you used Stripe Atlas to register your business?

I got to know about this from one of the posts on IH. Though it looks really interesting, but I couldn't find any particular discussion on this topic.

If you have used Stripe Atlas how has been your experience?

  1. 5

    Like others have said, Stripe Atlas is pretty nice and, in my opinion, worth the money. The only thing I will say is Silicon Valley Bank kinda sucks. I would go with a different bank. (lower fees, better website, physical location near you).

    1. 1

      Same experience here. Swap SVB for Mercury Bank and you'll be 👌

      Having all your docs in Stripe is convenient. Atlas community is valuable.

    2. 1

      What are some better banks? where do you find these types of banks that would service a startup? I"m in nyc if you know any here.

      1. 2

        We're still on SVB, but planning on switching to Capital One once we're a bit more stable.

        Check out this thread on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14052731. A lot of people had the same complaints

  2. 3

    Hi!

    If you're looking for a Stripe Atlas alternative check us out at Blook! https://blook.io/stripe-atlas-alternative

    We help global entrepreneurs register their businesses and get started in the US. We also provide the EIN (company tax ID) and a U.S. bank account too.

    Additionally, as others mentioned Silicon Valley Bank charges monthly maintenance fees. Our banking partner has no monthly fees :)

    Feel free to head over to our live chat if you have any questions or need any help!

    1. 1

      Hello, I am very interested in the service you offer. We are in Argentina, and we need to open our accounts in the US for SaaS and Web Development.

      Will you be able to send me information about it and rates?

      [email protected]

      Thank you!

      1. 1

        Of course! I sent you an email :)

    2. 1

      What bank does Blook partner with?

      1. 2

        Mercury.com. They're startup friendly and have been great to work with.

  3. 3

    We used Stripe Atlas and had a great experience. The price was tough to beat and they make everything really simple. Two notes I want to mention though:

    1. Make sure you file your 83b. Stripe Atlas has documentation around this process but they can't do it for you so make sure you do this and do it correctly.
    2. You'll have to do your own diligence if you want to register as a foreign corporation in the state you live/ work. For us, we're a Delaware C Corp but had to register as a foreign corporation in NY. It wasn't too difficult but it was on us to figure out.
    1. 1
      1. Non US citizen have to file 83b too?

      2. How does it work for Non-US citizen?

      1. 1

        Non US citizen have to file 83b too?

        Depends if your stocks have a vesting schedule. If your stock options are granted & exercised immediately (i.e., solo founders in a C Corp), then don't bother with 83(b). If your stocks are vesting over X years, it depends on whether you plan to become a US taxpayer within the X years. In the latter case, it's better to file 83(b) to be on the safe side.

        I'm not a lawyer or accountant, so usual disclaimers apply.

      2. 1

        not sure how it works for non-us citizen. 83b is to defer US taxes on equity that may appreciate but is not liquid. Basically you defer payment of the taxes on the equity into the future, when you can sell the shares and pay the taxes then.

        Do non-us citizens owe capital gains taxes on equity in a US corporation? (this is the question you need to get answered first, before you worry about 83b)

        1. 1

          Thanks for explaining! I will check it.

  4. 2

    I very nearly used Stripe Atlas to incorporate, but ended up doing it myself directly through my state's website (Florida).

    Why?

    • I'm a solo founder, so I needed fewer formation docs
    • Read some of the feedback on Atlas's banking options, decided that SVB wasn't a feature.
    • I'm in Florida, so I would have to register at the same cost if I register first in Delaware. Benefits of Delaware corp didn't appeal to me - as solo founder trying to move quickly and cheaply, LLC is ideal. Once the business becomes something at scale, I'll evaluate whether to re-incorporate in Delaware as C Corp.

    I don't think my situation is completely unique. But I would say Stripe Atlas is probably more appealing for startups with co-founders.

    Work involved:

    • Researched registered agent services (chose Northwest Registered Agent - combination of price and features, like operating agreement templates)
    • Registered Tax EIN directly with IRS
    • Chose a bank with existing relationships (Chase had aggressive incentive for adding business account)

    My total cost was just under $250. It took 5 days - 1 day of research; 3 day turnaround on filing; half day to start bank account (due to Chase's awful web interface). I will say, it took me considerably longer in research hours than using Stripe Atlas.

    I was not familiar with dunster.io until reading this thread. Looks like a solid option @jesse_ac nice work

    1. 2

      Thanks for appreciating our hard work @brianhsugreen Time is really precious isn't it? I'm glad you made it in less than 2 weeks, thousands (or maybe more) of founders waited 4 to 6 months to get their startups ready for operation since this Covid started.
      I hope this knowledge can be shared to other founders, after all, a lot of people prefers to do stuff themselves, natural hackers, so let them be. Take care!

  5. 2

    Not me, but I know 2 founders who signed up with Stripe Atlas and shared their experience with me during some conversations in the past, plus I assisted one client to incorporate in the US as well using their service.

    Stripe Atlas is widely known that's why they are no longer discussed here in IH. The price of $500 already saves you a lot of $$$ vs the amount of money law firms will charge you which is definitely one of their pros, a lot of good feedback from people who used them as well, if you are particular with pricing there are other incorporation services that can offer better pricing like dunster.io When it comes to cons, there's little flexibility as they are only supporting C Corp in Delaware, they don't support LLCs and 50 states, they are also not solopreneur friendly. Try applying as a single member LLC and they often push back. The processing time is also the same with most of incorporation services, normally it takes them 4 business days to get your state certificate, while it takes them additional 7 to 12 business days for the tax ID alone if you are from someone outside the US. (If you're in the US, you'll always have your process expedited regardless of service provider) Plus additional 5 to 7 business days for the bank approval. On average you'll have to wait 20 business days or more to get the end to end process done, which is acceptable in the market, the processing time is still within standards, but I think 20 business days is still a long time considering they are tech-heavy and capable of automating a lot of processes.

    Not saying this just because I've built dunster.io but let's be realistic, during times like these, people around the world needs to switch gears to entrepreneurship quickly specially the ones who lost their jobs, this makes the speed of incorporation process very critical. Some founders may be okay with weeks or even months of processing, but millions just doesn't have the time and needs to start in just a few days to survive.

    We're able to compress our processing time by 7 business days for both US citizens and non US citizens alike with the help of technology. I'm sure Stripe Atlas can do it too as they have all the resources to do so.

    1. 3

      Hey, congratulations on dunster; healthy competition is always good for the consumers and especially in this case the consumers are entrepreneurs.

      Also a heads-up that I recently added dunster to my curated list of startup tools - StartupToolchain.

      1. 2

        I just checked StartupToolchain and it looks amazing! This is helpful to everyone here, even myself. Thank you for including us on your toolchain, I will bookmark your page to share it with people who need it the most.

        1. 2

          Thank you, much appreciated.

  6. 2

    Uclusion was started with stripe atlas.
    The pro
    500$ for articles of incorporation, bylaws, nda templates, stock templates, and a bank account setup isn't horrible.
    The cons
    Does not handle multi-state well (we're a Delaware corp but are registered in CA to)
    Templates for ndas etc are word docs with out even mail merge working correctly.
    On your own after the first setup.

  7. 1

    Can a company incorporated in other county hold a bank account in US? The developer in me think Stripe Atlas is great, but the business side of me keep worried about dealing with US IRS, which is known to be hell. So, is it possible to have a merchant account without incorporating in US?

  8. 1

    If you are looking to use Stripe Atlas to get started with using Stripe, then you need not worry. Stripe is available in Beta Mode in India. We are using it for Draftss.com & Prospectss.com

  9. 1

    I've heard nothing but good anecdotes from others that have used it, but haven't use it personally.

  10. 1

    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

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