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Clerky ⚖️

Head West Team
Updated January 27, 2024
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Our Take:

Clerky was founded with a focus on helping high growth tech startups incorporate. It has straightforward pricing, and they are a great option for filing a Delaware C corp. It’s not our recommended tool for a couple of reasons. First, not everyone wants to incorporate a Delaware C corp, and Clerky only supports this type of filing. Second, while its pricing is competitive, it will be more expensive than our recommended tool (Incfile). So while Clerky could be a good option if you want to file a Delaware C corp, it’s not our recommended tool for most businesses.

Read our full guide on: Business Formation Services ⚖️


Clerky is an online legal service focused on helping startups file legal paperwork including helping them file business registrations (Delaware C corps).

Clerky Overview:

Darby Wong and Chris Field were attorneys at the Silicon Valley law firm ORRICK who often had to clean up legal paperwork messes for startups trying to save money by not hiring experienced lawyers. With engineering backgrounds, they saw an opportunity to automate routine legal paperwork for early stage startups. After helping with the Heroku acquisition by Salesforce, they decided to start Clerky to provide affordable, high-quality incorporation documents, stock issuance, fundraising paperwork, hiring contracts, and equity compensation. Their goal was to enable startups to avoid costly legal cleanup work down the road if they used Clerky's templates and tools.

With Clerky you can form a Delaware based C corp. Delaware is where we recommend most companies incorporate (Read our full Business Filing Services guide for more details on this.) Registering your company in Delaware should work for most people, but we understand that not everyone wants to register their company there. We also think that most businesses will be better off starting with an LLC and then transitioning to a C corp as their business scales, so Clerky won't be the best option for all people.

Clerky pricing is very straightforward. It is $427 for filing and includes Delaware state filing fees. Since most competitors do not include the State filing fees in their pricing, we’ve removed the $90 Delaware state filing fee from its pricing so that the comparisons are more comparable. As you can see Clerky’s pricing is good especially for ongoing Registered Agent services, but there are cheaper options including our recommended tool Incfile.

When it comes to comparing prices, you should be aware of two aspects: the cost to file your business, and the cost to maintain your business (Registered Agent fees).

The charts below compare the price of Clerky against the competition for first year costs and ongoing costs. We’ve included the price for everything we view as essential to incorporate your business (core filing plus Operating Agreement, EIN, and Registered Agent service).

Unfortunately, there are not enough Clerky reviews on Trustpilot for a meaningful comparison to competitors. They have one 5-star review and one 1-star review, but we don't think there is enough N for a meaningful comparison.

The process of incorporating through Clerky is very straightforward. You will be required to answer a handful of questions about your business, but the whole process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Clerky Pricing 💰: 

Clerky pricing is very straightforward. They offer two packages: Pay Per Use and the Company Lifetime Package. Both of their packages only charge a one-time fee, whereas some competitors' filing services push you into packages with annual fees.

Pay Per Use

With the Pay Per Use package it costs $427 to file your business which includes the $90 Delaware state filing fee. To use their ongoing Registered Agent service will cost an additional $125 per year (after the first year which is included in the filing cost). 

Included in the $427 cost is:

  • Delaware business formation filing (including expedited filing)
  • An Operating Agreement
  • An EIN from the IRS
  • One year of Registered Agent service

In addition to these core services, you can purchase additional services including:

  • Post incorporation setup ($299): includes Action of Incorporator, Bylaws, Initial Board Consent, Restricted Stock Purchase Agreements, Notices of Stock Issuance, Pre-filled 83(b) Election and Filing Instructions, and Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreements. None of these are strictly necessary but will be nice to have for startups planning to immediately fundraise.
  • Foreign qualification ($125 + state filing fees): This is often necessary for opening a bank account or setting up payroll.
  • Stock plan adoption ($199): Adopt a stock plan to issue restricted stock or stock options to employees, consultants, and advisors. Potentially relevant for high growth startups.

Company Lifetime Package

The Company Lifetime Package costs $819 and includes everything in the Pay Per Use package in addition to the elements that you will need to pay for a la carte in the Pay Per Use package.

This includes:

  • Post incorporation setup
  • Foreign qualification
  • Stock plan adoption

Clerky Alternatives: 





Stripe Atlas


Northwest Registered Agent

Clerky FAQs: 

What is Clerky used for?

Clerky is an online legal service primarily focused on helping startups incorporate. Clerky will help you form a Delaware C-corp.

What’s the difference between Clerky and Carta?

Clerky is focused on helping startups incorporate (form a Delaware C corp) whereas Carta is designed to help startups manage their cap tables. Startups often use both Clerky and Carta in conjunction.

Is Clerky legit?

Yes, Clerky is legit. It was founded by two former lawyers who worked at the well-known Silicon Valley law firm Orrick. They helped some of the largest startups in Silicon Valley incorporate including Coinbase, Gusto, and Zapier. Startups using Clerky have raised over $60B.

Is Clerky worth it?

Yes, we think most people should use a business incorporation service like Clerky over filing themselves. You will only save a couple of hundred dollars by filing yourself and the peace of mind and time savings from using a business filing service is worth it in our eyes. 

Why not use Clerky?

There are a couple of reasons not to use Clerky. If you want to incorporate in any state other than Delaware you will need to choose a competitor because Clerky only supports Delaware incorporations. Additionally, if you want to form something other than a C-corp (e.g, an LLC) you will have to use a competitor because Clerky only supports filings for C-corps.

Can you form an LLC with Clerky?

No, Clerky will only help you form a Delaware based C-corp. 

How long does Clerky take?

The application itself only takes about an hour, and the total time it will take for your business to be filed will depend on state and federal processing times but typically it will be completed within 1-3 weeks (the EIN will take longer if you don’t have a Social Security number). Clerky will typically return the filed certificate of incorporation within 2-3 business days.

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