646 666 9601 [email protected]

As your firm grows, you should consider how ownership of the company will be divided. Determining the shareholding structure for the founding team and future workers is a combination of art and science.


Sure, there are online tools, calculators, and a standard equity formula to assist you establish equity pay, but you have the ability to break convention with your ownership structure, much like the nature of the startup business. You have a blank canvas at your disposal, and what you write symbolises your vision of what is best for the firm and its people. Consider the following alternate stock structures mentioned by First Round Review when deciding on holdings in your firm ownership:

Extend the Standard 90-Day Exercise Period

The normal employee equity compensation package includes a 90-day timeframe for exercising options: Employees who leave a business usually have 90 days to execute their stock options. This procedure often entails paying an exercise price as well as the tax responsibility on the shares. If workers do not exercise their stock options within the 90-day period, the stock is returned to the corporation.
The difficulty is that this stringent requirement places a financial strain on a former employee, particularly if he or she is still looking for work or beginning a new employment. Companies, on the other hand, are beginning to reconsider the 90-day window norm. Former employees of Amplitude, a mobile analytics business, may execute their stock options up to ten years after they depart. This is accomplished by turning Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) into Non-qualified Stock Options (NSOs) after 90 days.

Amplitude has provided a form of their novel ISO agreement, and you may use a similar provision in developing an equity structure for your founders and workers with the assistance of a lawyer.

Transparency is emphasised.

On the surface, communication may not seem to be a novel method to equity compensation. However, it is usual for new startup workers to learn about stock options by wading through a mountain of documentation, forcing them to calculate their equity compensation on their own. Furthermore, firms usually do not wish to disclose the number of outstanding shares. These common behaviours demonstrate that openness is not always a priority, forcing workers to make critical financial choices in the dark.
As a result, Amplitude altered its approach to educating and informing workers about equity pay. The organisation prepared an employee stock summary graphic outlining the different situations and outcomes. When a new employee joins the organisation, he or she is given a customised chart that outlines the stock structure. While a chart does not seem to be a novel or novel alternative form of employee remuneration, the document demonstrates proactive openness. Clear communication may make or break your employee relationships and the survival of your business.

While Amplitude provides a template for its employee stock summary chart, the appropriate lawyer can help you get the specifics right the first time, putting your organisation on a path to long-term prosperity.

The parameters of any equity compensation system must achieve a critical goal: the distribution of firm ownership is equitable to the founders and workers. These alternate equity structures are suggestions for how to better connect your startup’s principles with the treatment of your staff.