Dealing with “Dead Equity”

“Dead equity” refers to company stock owned by individuals and entities no longer contributing to the company. In general, there are two types of dead equity seen on emerging company cap tables: Departed founders/employees. A co-founder or early employee leaves a company or no longer significantly contributes […]

You’ve Got VC Money: Cap Tables

Get a Cap Table Platform The company’s cap table is a historical record of who owns how many shares of the company’s stock, stock options, warrants, convertibles, and other ownership stakes in the company. As a VC-backed company with a more complicated cap table, you must keep […]

You’ve Got VC Money: Equity Compensation Best Practices

Adopt an Equity Incentive Plan Now is the time to adopt an equity incentive plan if you don’t already have one. Your investors likely made it a condition of financing to adopt a plan with a certain size of share reserve and certain forms of award agreements. […]

The Human Capitalist Series P.1: The Basics

We’re excited to introduce a multipart and ongoing series about the basics of (and some advanced topics related to) equity for startup employees and contractors. The “Human Capital” aspect of any enterprise, especially a technology company, is its most valuable asset, and we hope to highlight the […]

The Human Capitalist Series P.2: Stock Options

Stock options are the most common form of equity incentive for early-stage startups. A stock option grants the option holder the right to purchase a specific number of shares of the company within a fixed period of time at a preset “exercise” price, generally following the satisfaction […]

The Human Capitalist Series P.4: Restricted Stock Awards

A stock purchase award (also known simply as “restricted stock”) is the sale of a share of stock in exchange for an actual cash payment (or transfer of property with a fair market value that equals the purchase price and which property is not already the company’s). […]

The Human Capitalist Series P.5: Stock Bonus Awards

A stock bonus is the issuance of a share of stock without payment of any purchase price. The stock bonus can be granted subject to vesting or can be granted fully vested, such as in satisfaction of prior services rendered or as an alternative form of payment […]

The Human Capitalist Series P.6: Restricted Stock Units

Restricted stock units (RSUs) are rights to acquire stock without paying an exercise or purchase price. Vesting and settlement must comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. Generally, shares must be issued (and taxation triggered) shortly after the vesting date. While private companies commonly use a liquidity […]