Startup Equity 201: Stock Options -
This class is for entrepreneurs, who want to retain and incentivize the most important engine of company growth — their people. And for employees of high-growth, early-stage companies, who receive stock options as part of their compensation package. Students will learn the nuts and bolts of Employee Incentive Plan that best serves the interests of founders, investors, and employees. We’ll start by reviewing the basics – some of the fundamentals we learned in 101 such as dilution, vesting, and 83B election for restricted stock grants – then delve a bit deeper into the alphabet soup of stock option plans: ISOs (Incentive Stock Options), NSOs (Non-statutory Stock Options), FMV (Fair Market Value), et cetera. We’ll discuss: Distinction between employee stock option plans and stock grants Employee stock option plan best and worst practices Distinction between Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) and Non-Statutory Stock Options (NSOs) Tax strategies for ISOs and NSOs Fair Market Valuation (FMV) of company stock Negotiation best and worst practices for founders and employees Secondary markets Exit strategies for option holders The legal stuff will be explained by Zeke Vermillion, partner at Adler Vermillion & Skocilich. This class will be ideal for you: If you are a founder who’s planning to incentivize your hires with company stock options If you are an employee who received stock options and is wondering what this entails and what taxes you might have to pay If you don’t know what the difference between ISO’s and NSO’s is If you want to know how to best go about negotiating your employee equity compensation If you have particular questions to ask a startup lawyer about your employment contract, taxes, or something else If Startup Equity 101 left you wishing for more…! Here is Zeke’s bio: Zeke acts as a general corporate legal adviser to entrepreneurial companies and individuals. Recent engagements include capital-raising transactions, employee equity incentive grants, copyright and trademark licensing, business development partnerships, and small business acquisitions. Zeke was previously at White & Case, where he worked on a wide variety of M&A, securities, project and asset finance deals, and the largest IPO in history. He uses his broad experience and industry connections to solve clients’ legal problems efficiently. This class is a continuation of Startup Equity 101 Primer, which I taught several times since June 2012. Here are what past attendees and students have had to say about the class: Thanks Jamie for teaching the Startup Equity Primer. Certainly a difficult and complex topic that takes more than a day to teach but I think you gave a great overview of the topic to get the wheel rolling on planning equity structure. - EN Jamie’s talk was excellent—and just what I was seeking. She was very professional, well versed on the topic and was well prepared. She covered a great deal of material clearly and efficiently. The class was made up of smart, knowledgable founders who asked great questions. She was succinct in her answers and made sure she was clear enough so that everyone understood. -PS She offered great information and made sure that we understood the material and had our questions answered. She was very well-prepared with slides, handout, and pre-populated spreadsheet that explained the process. I’d recommend this class to founders and to those who are interested in going to work for a startup. -MN The image is from Long Term Incentive and the Black Box of Employee Stock Options (a great read!)
The Docracy Blog: Guest post: Should you incorporate as a Benefit Corporation? -
A Benefit Corporation is a new type of corporate entity available to businesses choosing to incorporate in California. Inder Comar, a Docracy contributor who represents small businesses and startups there, recently published his sample Articles of Incorporation and the following useful…
Developer Contracts in the Real World -
A handy list of popular contracts for developers, as featured on SitePoint
The Docracy Blog: How to Register a Trademark -
First thing, you have to figure out if it makes sense for you to register a trademark, and what is trademarkable.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademarks (USPTO), a trademark is “a word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes…
The Docracy Blog: A legal primer on trademarks: interviewing Jacob Tingen -
This week we’re diving into the world of trademarks thanks to one of our latest lawyer contributors: Jacob Tingen.
Jacob is a solo practitioner from Virginia with a very innovative approach to lawyering: his practice is entirely online-based, he self-publishes useful ebooks, and has the …
Docracy’s Term Sheet Guide -
We published a really special topic page today: the Term Sheet Guide.
We have many publicly available term sheets on Docracy, including forms from Series Seed, Techstars and Foundry Group. The thing is, a term sheet is a fairly complicated legal affair, and we felt like there was a need for some comprehensive, entrepreneur-friendly explanation. Therefore, we put together this rich, clear and detailed guide to term sheets and venture capital funding, from the point of view of the entrepreneur.
It features an in-depth look at the main provisions, with sample language and links to the best blog posts on the topic. It includes useful definitions of technical terms, and a “checklist” to go through to make sure your term sheet is a fair deal. It’s a pretty long document, so you might want to download it in PDF form and study it via your device of choice, for free.
We believe this is a great, highly-needed resource for the startup community. We promise to keep it updated, with your help as well: share comments and suggestion in the comments!
Big news for privacy last week: the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) fined Path $800,000 for privacy violations (Path settled the fine after a long FTC investigation started from a post on Hacker News). At the same time they issued a long set of guidelines for pretty much everybody in the…
Espresso Machine Patent, 1951
The Docracy Blog: What's a Model Release? -
Do you take photos? Do you want to sell, publish, and/or use photos? Model releases are useful little documents that allow photographers, publishers and photo users to have more freedom in using or publishing photos. Essentially, if there is a recognizable person in the image, a model…
Cartoon by Robert Leighton. For more: http://nyr.kr/TCbM1G