Best Practices for Equity

Best Practices for Equity

December 29, 2023 by investor

Best Practices for Equity

Equity is a key component of startup compensation for founders and employees.

While cash may be king in the short term, equity will be worth more in the long run.

Here are some best practices for founders to follow:

Treat equity as the scarce commodity it is and deploy it strategically and carefully.

Avoid using equity for short-term goals such as upgrading websites or purchasing inventory.

Consider alternative forms of funding for anything related to cash flow and inventory.

Set aside equity to compensate the team and take on potential investors.

While it dilutes the founder, it gives the company the capability to grow larger.

A smaller percentage of a big number is better than 100% of a very small number.

Align your compensation with the employee’s needs. 

Know who on the team values equity and will work for it and who prefers cash.

If equity is not worth it to them, then reduce their equity share and give it to others who find it motivating.

Map out your equity ownership through subsequent rounds of funding.

It’s important to know how much equity you are giving away on each round. 

By running a fully diluted cap table on each terms sheet you plan to use, you’ll know how much that raise will cost you.

Consider these points in managing equity for your startup.


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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.