Hmm, thought there would be other kinds of replies to this question.
Per California law, all employees must be paid the minimum wage. The recommendation to pay all founders minimum wage is meant to pre-empt unhappy ex-founder issues. As we've generally heard, ~60% of startups break apart due to founder issues ... if you were to lose a founder or two along the way, they'll have some amount of legal standing in the state of California if they were to argue that you never paid them minimum wage, and they'd have a good chance of winning any lawsuit they might bring against your company in that regard. So, paying minimum wage helps keep that unhappy scenario from happening.
If you're a solo founder, or if you're bootstrapping and haven't yet incorporated, it doesn't really matter. Or if you've done a couple startups with the same people & tend to finish each other's sentences, a founder break-up is less likely & this may not be necessary.
If you're still doing really early-stage prototyping & market-product fit, even a document that specifies how future responsibilities & equity will be divided (i.e., who's CEO, who's CTO, what those roles entail, how your team will go about making big decisions) can be sufficient between co-founders for a while.
Just before you raise a significant seed round, incorporate through Clerky (or find a good startup lawyer who'll defer expenses), put in your paid-in capital & issue your restricted founder's stock to all founders & founding employees (preferably authorize ~10M shares at a par value of 0.0001 or so per share), and consider promissory notes for what each of the founders have put into the company so far (optional).
At that point, you can start paying minimum wage ... if your company can't survive minimum wage based on the size of your seed round, you might consider paying it back thru (agreed-upon but optional) investments by founders into the company in exchange for promissory notes?
Since you're in NYC, not California, I'd consider consulting informally with a lawyer as to whether this actually applies in New York. I'm not a lawyer, so this is not meant to be construed as or used as a substitute for legal advice : )