Found in 3 comments on Hacker News
grellas · 2010-06-25 · Original thread
Two good ones:

Edwin L. Miller, Lifecycle of a Technology Company: Step-by-Step Legal Background and Practical Guide from Startup to Sale (

Constance E. Bagley and Craig E. Dauchy, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law (

Both of these do a good job of delineating startup issues from a legal perspective. They do so from what I would call a "big firm" perspective, which means heavy emphasis on VC-template-style companies as opposed to the leaner or bootstrap variety. Nonetheless, both do an excellent job of presenting the formal legal questions in practical contexts and both give clear explanations of the main issues involved in a startup from inception to exit.

Edit: The Miller book actually does a pretty good job of covering IP basics and, beyond that, I don't know of any particularly standout general IP book written for business people (there are some pretty good ones covering specific categories such as patent). By the way, as between Bagley/Dauchy and Miller, the Miller book is my personal favorite for startups - it was originally written as a big-firm treatise (multi-volume, with each of 4 or 5 volumes costing $200 or so), dry as dust, and then magically transformed through a fabulous edit job at Wiley into a well-distilled presentation of startup issues.

minouye · 2010-04-19 · Original thread
For anyone with concerns about business structure, I highly recommend "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law"--while it doesn't cover all of the tax implications of each structure, it is a great general reference for LLC vs. S-Corp vs. C-Corp (and a myriad of other topics).

weeblyrocks · 2007-08-11 · Original thread
You're most welcome. The best entrepreneur's legal guide is called "Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law" published by Thompson / West Law written by Bagley and Dauchy. I bought it when I was doing my first start-up and I'm sure they have an updated version. I just found one at Amazon:

In general, I think too many young entrepreneurs give up too much equity too quickly because they fall for the "oh we're making the pie bigger so giving us a huge percentage is fine" fallacy.

There are so many things to take into account when taking VC money. Too many VC firms replace young CEOs quickly at which point the founders get heavily diluted. Also be careful of VCs that try to reserve too large of a pool for management they want to recruit.

Management team members recruited by your VC work for the VC, not for you, the CEO. When push comes to shove, they will side with the VC because they know the VC will find them another job if your start-up goes bust.

The golden rule of VCs is this: He who has the gold makes the rule.

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