The Business Entity Machine
An Open Source Project of law.MIT.edu
This is a project to build a working prototype of software that conducts the business transactions and maintains the legal status of, and operates through, a valid legal entity. A simple C-Corp or LLC are the anticipated target legal entity form to establish a proof of concept. The project will evaluate whether this goal is best accomplished through use of blockchain enabled automation and/or through a bunch of well orchestrated Microservices using an authoritative data source and operating on/through AWS, Azure, Rackspace, Cloud Foundry, etc or other approaches. The ultimate goal is to field secure, integrated and fully containerized open source code for a new federally chartered Credit Union, as a much more sophisticated legal entity type, in accord with chartering and other rules of the National Credit Union Administration (regulator).
What is an Automated Legal Entity?
A business (or government, non-profit or other) entity is automated when software successfully conducts the core business transactions of the entity and takes all routine actions necessary to maintain the legal status of the entity.
For example, an automated commercial business entity may be operate through software that initiates, responds to and completes business transactions such as the purchase and sale of goods. The software would likewise take all routine actions necessary to validly complete business contracts and other transactions or needed to create, maintain and eventually dissolve the legal entity for which the softrware operated. If neccessary as part of a transaction, for example, the software would file the approprite information with the relevant governmental agency necessary to give notice of a security interest in personal property to interested third parties under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
The entity is "fully automated" when an integrated code base correctly and completely conducts all business and legal interactions of the entity within expected parameters and according to specified approvals or other specifications supplied by authorized human actors.
A fully automated entity is also "autonomous" when it validly conducts all actions of the entity without human review, approval or other explicit action.
What is the plan for this project?
To scaffold out a functional model, work flows, approval chains and success metrics for automated maintenance of a valid legal entity, the plan is to work with one or more Secretary of State offices that have already expressed interest and willingness to provide review and feedback at key points during the agile/lean development cycle. To scaffold out the conduct of successful business transactions the plan is to assess several existing, widely used commercial services to identify the best candidate for automated integration and select the top one or two. This could be the publishing of autonomously generated content to Amazon's Kindle store, creating apps or other technology resources and deploying to GitHub and app stores as part of an integrated set of scripts for marketing, publishing, sales and support services or other such UCC Article 2 "Sale of Goods" transactions.
During the Sept 15 - Oct 15 general time frame the plan is to push on creating a prototype with an open source crew of interested developers (including super-star Legal Hackers) with the aim of having a live demo that can be evaluated at the end of the sprint. For the evaluation in about a month, three panels of business, legal and technical experts, respectively, are being invited to critique and rate how well or poorly we achieved the intended outcome.
About the Legal Entity Machine Project:
- Project Wiki: https://github.com/LegalEntity/Machine/wiki/Important-Links-and-Resources
- Project Site: http://legalentity.us & http://legalentity.github.io/Machine
- SBA Quad-Overview: https://github.com/LegalEntity/Machine/blob/gh-pages/sba.md
Other homes of parts of the project:
Potential Alternative Project Names:
- LEAN: The LEAN Machine: Legal Entity Automated Network Machine or
- BLISS: The BLISS Machine: Business Legal Integrated Service Systems or
- BLAST: The BLAST Machine: Business Legal Automated Systems Technology or
- NAMASTE: Network Automated Machine Autonomous Systems Technology Entities