(Photo by Mona Parikh)
Here’s a little update on Counsl, the app that streamlines the incorporation process and whose founders are moving the company to Wilmington.
First, April will be a big month for the company. Its official launch is April 1, and the company site, counsl.co, is now live in soft-launch mode. On the website, users will be able to create an account and set amounts for the state filing fee, initial filing fee and the registered agent fee for filing formation documents. A lawyer will be able to send the forms to the client for an e-signature or can sign on their behalf.
One of the cofounders, Rafael Lopez, will move permanently to Wilmington in mid-April, and the rest of the engineers — the company has expanded to eight people — will arrive by mid-May, Lopez said.
Around the time of the launch, Counsl’s other cofounder, JC Glancy, will be traveling in Florida to sell the app to law firms. Florida will be a hotspot because the state will actually do more filings this year than Delaware, Lopez said, and that’s in large part because of foreign investors coming in to buy real estate and creating LLCs for every condo they buy.
Also in April, they will be unrolling some new products under the Counsl umbrella. Those include an offering called Passport, which allows you to set up a corporation in Ireland and also gets you a bank account. “That way, you can start doing business in the EU market,” Lopez said, adding that having an Irish corporation allows you to do business in greater Europe. The country is a tax haven, he said, with a 2 percent corporate tax rate.
In coming months, Counsl is also developing a similar service between the United States and Hong Kong, as well as a service for foreign investors in the United States to set up a Delaware corporation with a U.S. bank account.
Another product they’re working on is a service for customers to use an e-signature for a client letter of engagement that will also include an option to pay a retainer to the lawyer, which the lawyer can set up to be recurring.
Since the cofounders’ whirlwind visit from Austin to Wilmington in January, business has continued to develop. “Things are looking good,” Lopez said about potentially landing future funding in the area.
They’ve secured investors in Vance Kershner, founder of the Wilmington-based global software company LabWare, and Chris Buccini, managing partner of The Buccini/Pollin Group. Lopez said their January meeting with Gov. Jack Markell helped them land a few more investors when they returned home to Austin. Last week, Glancy and Lopez met with and did demos for law firms Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor and Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell.
Lopez said he’s excited about moving here.
“Everyone’s been really friendly, especially Robert (Herrera, from The Mill) and Chris (Buccini), and Mona (Parikh) has been awesome,” he said. “And other people we hadn’t met with before have been really welcoming to us.”-30-
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