Part One: Entity

Learn how and why to create a legal entity, issue shares, create vesting schedules, and assign IP

Part Two: People

Dive deep into legal issues surrounding cofounders, early employees, mentors, and advisors

Part Three: Investment

Navigate the terms and process of accelerators, seed financings, and venture capital rounds


Chapter 1: Forming a Startup Company

Find out why, when, and where to incorporate your startup and what documents are needed to properly form a startup

Chapter 2: Structuring Your Company

Learn about the initial structuring of the board of directors, officers, authorized shares, and the types of shares issued to cofounders.

Chapter 3: Equity Issues

Examine equity issues, including dividing equity, voting rights, and the mechanics of vesting schedules for stock and options

Chapter 4: Founder Dynamics

Explore what to consider when selecting cofounders, common cofounder issues, and how to navigate breakups

Chapter 5: First Hires

Learn about employee classification, incentive equity and option compensation, contracts, vesting schedules, and termination

Chapter 6: Mentors & Advisors

Understand mentor and advisor selection, advisory boards, compensation, red flags, and exit strategies

Chapter 7: Accelerators

Find out about common accelerator deal terms, legal documents, and selected issues of being in an accelerator

Chapter 8: Seed Financing

Learn all about seed round terms and structures, including convertible notes, convertible equity, and priced equity rounds

Chapter 9: Venture Capital

Examine the venture capital financing process, including due diligence, common terms, and the legal documents involved

Chapter 10: Securities Law Overview

Get an overview of the main securities law issues related to early-stage startup companies


Unlike most lawyers, Ryan doesn't tell entrepreneurs all the things they cannot do; instead he provides succinct, battle-tested advice on how to achieve your startup's unique business objectives. Beg, borrow, buy or steal this book today, and thank me next week.

Patrick Vlaskovits, NYT Bestselling Author of Hustle and The Lean Entrepreneur

Ryan has played a key role in the development of today’s startup legal ecosystem. His approach and content is a standard “go-to” resource for entrepreneurs. Do yourself a favor and get copies of this book for you and your cofounders right now.

Marc Nager, Partner, Greater Colorado Venture Fund and Cofounder, Startup Weekend & UP Global

Acceleration is a must read for entrepreneurs. Ryan provides concise explanations to the legal questions and issues startups routinely encounter."

Girish Mathrubootham, Founder & CEO, Freshworks

Ryan has done an amazing job curating and breaking down the legal issues that many startups face, with easy to understand explanations and anecdotes. Acceleration is an essential legal guide for all entrepreneurs.

Brad Hunstable, CEO of Linear Labs (electric motors for EVs) and former CEO of Ustream (acquired by IBM)

Acceleration is an indispensable legal guide for all startup founders. Read this book and you can help save yourself and your startup from a lot of pain down the road.

Sunil Thomas, Cofounder and CEO, CleverTap

The Author

RYAN ROBERTS is a corporate attorney who represents startup companies through all phases of their growth process.

His international client roster is comprised of emerging growth companies and venture capital funds and has. Ryan holds a BA and an MA in economics from USC and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

In 2006, Ryan launched, a legal resource for startup companies, which Forbes has named one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs.

Ryan Roberts-1482-v1 (original) copy


Launched in 2006 and now has over 300 articles on the legal issues that entrepreneurs face and a glossary with over 500 startup legal terms.

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