Legal Wrappers and DAOs

31 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2022 Last revised: 7 Jul 2022

See all articles by Chris Brummer

Chris Brummer

Georgetown University Law Center; Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL)

Rodrigo Seira


Date Written: May 30, 2022


This white paper offers the first comprehensive overview and explanation of legal wrappers available to DAOs. It observes how the qualitative features of DAOs—including their dispersed and fluid memberships, and blockchain-based governance—are unanticipated by legal wrappers modeled after 20th century corporations, nonprofits and partnerships. It then surveys a diverse range of wrappers available to DAOs, and highlights how thoughtful legal engineering can help mitigate frictions that arise when attempting to wrap established legal forms around DAOs and DAO operations. To demonstrate, the white paper proceeds through a variety of fact scenarios spanning protocol, media, collector, social, and philanthropic DAOs to illustrate how wrappers might be employed to protect DAO participants from unlimited liability, optimize tax treatment, engage in contractual off-chain transactions, and enable compliance with key regulatory expectations.

Keywords: DAOs, Web3, corporate governance, blockchains

Suggested Citation

Brummer, Christopher J. and Seira, Rodrigo, Legal Wrappers and DAOs (May 30, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher J. Brummer (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States


Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) ( email )

Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States


Rodrigo Seira

Paradigm ( email )

San Francisco, CA
United States

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