In startup world, we often accept lower salaries coupled with additional perks not traditionally offered to employees. These can include catered meals, unlimited PTO, or gym subsidies. Another common perk is equity in the startup. However, it’s important to remember that unless your company goes public or is bought out (sometimes) that your equity does not have an actual monetary value.
So, my first tip to protecting your equity is to make sure you truly love your job and the company – because you need to be in it for the long haul. The truth is, most startups don’t go public. Sure, many get bought out, but that is still nothing to bank on. So, if you are only in it for the equity, it is likely time to start looking for another job.
Truly, the only thing that you can do is your job – and as well as you can. Help raise up the employee’s around you. Attitude is usually rewarded well, in any company. Your company’s success is your potential equity success. As long as you are truly invested in your company, then you want to obtain as much equity as possible. And, raises and yearly bonuses at startups often include additional equity. Just another reason your job performance is key to the success of your equity.
There is another, and longer, article on the LawTrades blog discussing this issue. Feel free to take a look: What are the ways in which a startup employee can protect equity?. If you’d like to discuss the specifics of your equity situation with a seasoned startup attorney LawTrades can help.