In a previous Founder Tip of the Week, I discussed what vesting is. In this Founder Tip of the Week, I will discuss some common vesting schemes. Employees The norm for options granted to employees is that they vest ratably monthly over four years.
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Do I need to file a Section 83(b) election if vesting is imposed on my stock after it has been issued?
In a prior Founder Tip of the Week we discussed how the Internal Revenue Code (the “Tax Code”) characterizes unvested founder stock as not being purchased until it has vested, and that this characterization can have adverse tax consequences for the founder because the Tax Code treats as taxable income the excess, if any, of the fair market value of stock at the time it vests over the purchase price of the stock (the “spread”).
Dilution is a term that is frequently discussed in the context of preferred stock financings. However, it is important to understand that there is a difference between dilution in the general sense and the type of dilution with respect to which preferred stockholders receive protection.
“Pre-money” or “pre-money valuation” is a term that entrepreneurs will hear and use a lot in the context of securing equity financing, so I thought it would be a good idea to make sure entrepreneurs have a clear understanding of it.
I recently participated in a panel discussion on crowdfunding for biosciences, and I wanted to share some of the ideas we discussed. Although focused on life sciences companies, many of the issues are applicable to tech companies too.
“Vesting” is a term of art that is often glossed over by new entrepreneurs as they grapple with other newer and scarier terms to which they are being introduced as they start their companies, like “pre-money valuation,” “fully-diluted capitalization” and “broad-based weighted average antidilution adjustments.” However, I think it is good for entrepreneurs to have a thorough understanding of what vesting means.
Never Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Make Sure Your Agreements Assign Intellectual Property Presently!
Founders should make sure that their companies’ agreements assign intellectual property presently. In other words, an agreement should provide that the assigning party (the “assignor”) “hereby assigns” to the company the intellectual property in question.
Sometimes a company will engage a “finder” to help it find financing. I always tell founders that they should confer with the company’s legal counsel when considering whether to engage a finder.
Sometimes, about January, I get an urgent call from a founder telling me that his or her corporation has received a franchise tax bill from the State of Delaware for tens of thousands of dollars.
For a start-up company, noncompetition agreements typically arise in one of the following contexts; a founder or new employee entered into a confidential information and inventions assignment agreement (or similar agreement) with his or her former employer that prohibits competing with the former employer, the start-up company wants to prohibit a terminated employee from competing with the company, or in an acquisition, the buyer demands a founder and/or key employee sign a noncompetition agreement.