• May 2019
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Equity Compensation

lawtrades services startup equity

Startups and equity.

Get a startup equity compensation plan to attract and retain the best employees.

  • Make sure it’s done right
  • Confirm your legal compliance
  • Have an equity attorney to turn to

Why startup equity compensation

Startup equity compensation is one way for a business to attract and retain employees. The general idea of equity compensation is to offer employees a share of the company’s future profits in exchange for lower salaries up front. There are a variety of methods for gaining ownership in a company, each of which may have a significant tax burden on both the company and the employees.

Startups that offer equity compensations tend to take the form of stock options, which are used to incentivize employees who can benefit from the increasing value of the stock’s price. The value is theoretical at the outset since a young company usually does not have a valuation: there are no customers, purchase orders, or assets. For companies that are planning on going public and have a promising future, this can be a very appealing option to an employee. This right “vests” with time, so employees gain control of this option after working for the company for a certain period of time. When the option vests, they gain the right to sell or transfer the option. This method encourages employees to stick with the company for a long term.

The benefits
Make sure it’s done right

Equity is the end game for a lot of entrepreneurs. It’s important to preserve it and use it wisely. A startup equity compensation lawyer will help you be responsible with your company’s equity by implementing an equity plan and correctly executing the corresponding documents.

Have an equity attorney to turn to

There’s a good chance you’re going to like your startup equity compensation lawyer from LawTrades and want to keep using them. Perfect – now you have a legal expert to turn to when in need.

Confirm your legal compliance

Compensating employees with equity implicates tax and employment / labor laws. Ensure that your company is complying with the law as you deal with equity based compensation.


FAQ


Can I draft a startup equity compensation agreement on a “do it yourself” website?

You may be able to find a template online but be careful. Those forms have major limitations, largely in that their forms are standardized and may leave out important details specific to your company. Startup employee equity should be coveted by all companies, and using such forms can expose your company and equity to unnecessary risk.

Are there different forms of startup equity compensation?

Yes there are many different types equity compensation for your employees. The most common forms of equity compensation include incentive stock options (“ISO”), nonqualified stock options, phantom stock, and restricted stock units (“RSU”). With so much choice, it’s helpful to review your options with a startup equity compensation lawyer.

Does compensating an employee with equity fulfill minimum wage laws?

Compensating employees only with stock or stock options is generally not considered wages for purposes of minimum wage calculation. Accordingly, this type of arrangement can easily violate minimum wage laws. While there might be ways to structure this type of compensation package, they are very narrowly construed and require robust legal skill. If you are thinking about this option as compensation, engaging an experienced startup equity compensation lawyer is essential in order to avoid fines or legal action, or both, that could impair your company’s brand and value.

Does it make sense for my startup to have an option pool?

Stock options make the most economical sense for more sophisticated startups with a relatively developed staff. Because creating an options program is time intensive and requires highly specialized legal expertise, they are quite costly to implement. Therefore, creating a stock options program for just one employee does not usually justify the cost, but if you are planning to develop a highly skilled staff, then offering options could be the right choice.

I’m an employee – can you review my employer’s proposed equity compensation?

Yes – LawTrades has equity attorneys available to review proposed equity compensation for employees.


Reviews 

 


Daniel, H. | ★★★★★

“Simple and trustworthy system. The project manager through text message is a good idea and helps a lot with the process, especially their timely response.”


Rafael, R. | ★★★★★

“I was very comfortable with the environment it was my first meeting and I knew it was on the right track I did understand my lawyer I was listening I did absorb the information given to me.”


Ori, A. | ★★★★★

“Great experience all around, LawTrades was just so much more personal and much better than other startup/online on-demand solutions for legal work,. Almost feels like I handpicked and hired the attorney myself. The Attorney was available to answer questions by phone or text message, so was the LawTrades rep who set the whole thing up. And when setting up new entities you always have questions, so this was a big deal for me. The Attorney assigned to my project was available on demand to help out explain things every step of the way and I think the guys at LawTrades have done a great job with making you feel extremely comfortable. After all was done I even got an email and a call from one of the co founders of the company to make sure I had a seamless experience. I never got a call from other companies I had used in the past like Legal zoom and the whole thing always felt so automated. Yes, granted Legal zoom probably have way more clients than Lawtrades and as such would not be feasible for their management to call everyone, however, that was a nice touch which I do appreciate. I will definitely be heading back to Lawtrades whenever I require legal assistance.”


Tamas, P. | ★★★★★

“Price. I know what I am paying instead of getting surprised. Transparent pricing I know what each bit costs instead of getting a big bill and not knowing what parts cost what and how much was for service vs hard fees such as filing fees. Also things progressed rapidly.”


Yash, P. | ★★★★★

“Amazing service, i cant get over texting to get a lawyer. it’s revolutionary and can legitimately improve the US justice system for people with no access to quality lawyers.”


Janet, S. | ★★★★★

“Quick and easy, I used LawTrades and worked with attorney Jonathan Hood to review a NDA. I got my questions answered right away. Arman was a great help making the connection. Would highly recommend the service.”