Some of the value that you created through hard work can be undone at the time of a sale of the company if corporate or other legal matters are neglected along the way. Being prepared and thinking about the “butterfly effect” of early decisions and how such decisions might impact a potential sale or public offering is the best way to maximize value for a future exit. Maintaining good corporate records and proper minute books, and adhering to corporate formulation now can avoid confusion and missteps down the road. Setting up a process for onboarding new employees (including things like having them sign a proper confidentiality and IP assignment agreement) and documenting employee equity grants can help you avoid diligence headaches at the time of a potential financing, acquisition or public offering.
You can maximize value by engaging good advisors from the start and giving your corporate and other legal matters the same attention that you give source code, business plans, etc.