Creating a Hybrid LLC/DAO with Aragon and OpenLaw: Part 1

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This post isn’t legal advice. If it were, it’d be followed by a bill.

Hello my dear reader. Rob here with a fun tutorial that has to do with the origin of our company, Open Esquire LLC. We used the methods described in this tutorial to create a New York-based LLC that references a specific Aragon DAO in its founding documents.

Today we’ll be creating the DAO and in the next part we’ll create the LLC. In order to follow along, you’ll need a MetaMask browser add-on and some Ether for gas cost.

Let’s get started by heading on over to https://mainnet.aragon.org/#/, where we’ll see the following:

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I added the blue arrow to show that it’s asking me to unlock my MetaMask. This can be done by clicking on the orange fox icon in the upper right hand of your browser.

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And MetaMask will ask for your password. If your MetaMask is unlocked but Aragon is still giving you the prompt, click on the hyperlink embedded in the word “enable.”

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This will bring up a prompt asking if you want to connect.

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We click “Connect” and we see the option to create a new organization is highlighted. Click it.

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From here we’re given two templates to choose from, (i) Token project with Democracy and (ii) Token project with Multisig.

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There’s a very important distinction between these two options, especially for our goal of creating an LLC. Aragon DAOs operate through voting on proposals. The voting can be counted proportionally to the amount of tokens voters hold. For example, if I owned 51% of the tokens and the other 49% were distributed, I’d always win the vote because I’d have the majority. This would be the “Democracy” option.

This option didn’t work for us because one of the requirements for being a LLC is that we needed to know exactly how much each person owns. For example, we’d need to be able to tell a NY agency or court that Bob — who lives at 555 Pleasant Avenue — owns X% and Alice — who lives at 333 Unpleasant Avenue owns Y% of the ownership. We couldn’t do this if the ownership was determined by a bunch of anonymous Ethereum accounts.

And there were other reasons that the Democracy option wasn’t right for us, like limitations on the allowed amount of owners and the method of selling ownership.

Instead we went with the Multisig option. With this option, voting is done by accounts, rather than by tokens. Let’s click on the Multisig and “Next” to learn more.

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Here we’re given the opportunity to name the organization.

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The name you choose will be part of your DAO’s web address. For example, our current DAO is located at mainet.aragon.org/#/openesquire.

Let’s enter a name for our organization and — oh, wow! Look what’s available.

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Someone needs to snag that. How about we just go with “tutorial” instead? The green checkmark lets us know that it’s also available.

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We click “Next” on the bottom right, and are asked to list the Ethereum addresses that are allowed to authorize a transaction.

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These Ethereum addresses should be solely and securely owned by each member of the LLC, because with Multisig, the address itself is used to authorize.

To the right of the window, we see a drop-down option under the heading “SIGNATURES REQUIRED.” This will be the number of addresses needed to authorize a transaction.

Story time!

When we here at OpenEsquire were still experimenting with the tech, we first created a Multisig DAO with three addresses that required all three of us to authorize transactions. As it so happened, one of our accounts got hacked, thereby preventing us from ever being able to authorize anything, effectively locking us out of our own DAO. Keep that in mind when deciding how many signatures to require.

But for this tutorial I’m going to add two addresses and also require two signatures. Click “next.”

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Now we name our Token.

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What are tokens used for? I dunno. Lots of stuff, I imagine. They’re like a currency that only the DAO can issue. We issued ours as a credit for when nonmembers worked on our projects. If someone wanted to tout their experience in the field, they could say something like “Earned 15 project tokens coding for OpenEsquire.”

Anyway, let’s just name this token “Tutorial” and put the symbol “TOOT.”

Click “Next” and we’ll see this screen:

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And a MetaMask window will popup and ask you to sign the first transaction.

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We click “Confirm” and wait for the transaction to process. When it does, we’ll be asked to sign the second transaction, which we will also confirm.

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And…SUCCESS!

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Click on “Get Started” and it’ll take you to the start page.

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There are so many fun things to explore here, but we’ll have to leave that for a different day. For now, we have a DAO address, which is what we need to bring us into Part 2: creating the LLC with OpenLaw. Stay tuned.

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