Operations toolkit for startups and freelancers

The following is a list of services that I use for my startup Elastic Byte and/or highly recommend related to the operation of a startup. Intentionally no technical or developer tools are included as this post focuses on business operations.

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are referral links, but in most cases you'll also get a perk/discount.

Incorporation / Formation

Clerky - yCombinator company that focuses on legal paperwork for startups. They currently only support Delaware C-corporations.


Stripe Atlas - Delaware C-corporation or LLC (new). Includes $5,000 of Amazon AWS credits as well as other perks such as flat-rate lawyer partner consulting.

Stripe Atlas

Gust - Delaware C-corporation plus lots of perks including cap table management software, 10% off WeWork, $15,000 Amazon AWS credit, and one hour of premium lawyer time per month.



Azlo - No monthly fees. Free bank-to-bank transfers. Debit card. Technology and design focused. Recommended by Stripe.


Capital One Spark Business Checking - No monthly fees. Free bank-to-bank transfers. Debit card. Multiple Capital One bank accounts supported under a single unified account.

Capital One Spark Business Checking

Credit Cards

Capital One Spark Cash For Business - Unlimited 2% cash back on purchases. Cash is king! No annual fee. $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.

Capital One Spark Cash For Business


Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed - Tag all transactions (credit cards, bank accounts) by category for schedule-C. Exports to TurboTax which is a huge time saver at tax time. Estimates and electronically pay federal quarterly tax payments within the app using eftps.gov.

Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed


Gusto - Focused on full-time employee payroll, HR, taxes, benefits.


Square Payroll - Pay employees or contractors (1099) via ACH. $5 per contractor per month and they automatically send out 1099 tax forms to contractors.

Square Payroll


Intuit TurboTax Self-Employed - Import all your transactions from QuickBooks (schedule-C). Electronically pay/receive federal and state taxes. Robust guided system for finding deductions and credits.

Intuit TurboTax Self-Employed

Payment processing

Stripe - Accept all major credit cards and supports ACH bank debits. Using Stripe Connect you can also do payouts and marketplace payments.



Simple Invoices - Send beautiful e-mail invoices to clients/customers as one-off or on a recurring schedule. Embedded form to securely collect credit card details with zero programming. ACH debit is currently not supported, but reportedly coming soon.

Simple Invoices

Time Tracking (consultant / freelancer)

Toggl - Create clients, projects, and tasks. Integrated timer and publicly exportable reports you can share with clients so can view hours and task descriptions.


Office Space

WeWork - Shared and dedicated office space. In 66 cities all over the world and membership includes access to all locations. Typically unlimited coffee and beer as well. Member perks includ discounts on services such GitHub, Stripe, Amazon AWS, and Slack.



HelloSign - Legally binding electronic signature documents. Import PDF's, add fields, and send.



Justin is the founder of Elastic Byte a DevOps as a service company which builds, optimizes, secures and supports cloud infrastructure.