As a form of compensation, equity is often offered to new hires by startups. Even though buying publicly traded company shares can be a smart financial move, you should still do your homework and grasp the specifics of your equity offer before committing.
And the most crucial tip to remember if you’re considering applying for a job at a startup is to be prepared to negotiate. Hence, according to Shapiro Negotiations, to successfully negotiate, you must grasp the most effective method of conveying your points to make a smooth approach to the problem and emerge victorious.
Learning how to negotiate equity can help you secure the best salary package possible, as equity offers vary, and some people may be better suited to receiving them than others.
So here are some of the most important considerations when negotiating equity in a private company or startup.
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Research the company meticulously
A better understanding of the company can shed light on whether or not it has a promising future. Inquire with the potential employer about the possibility of reviewing the business plan for the company.
But researching a company can also be done through multiple sources such as its website, financial statements, press releases, and industry reports.
You should understand the company’s history, current products, and plans. It includes understanding the company’s competitive landscape, customer base, and how its products or services are differentiated.
Examine the offer thoroughly
If you’re offered a job, you should insist on getting it in writing. That way, you can review the offer’s terms and negotiate the legalities as you see fit.
It is essential to think critically when considering the offer and to look beyond the monetary value of the equity. So, ask yourself the following questions: how does the equity offering fit into your portfolio, and how could it impact your financial goals in the long run?
Know which parts of the deal can be negotiated
Be bold and seek clarification. There may be aspects of the agreement that the startup is more willing to negotiate, such as the stock option you can get.
But if their equity options are already predetermined, you should investigate whether they will compensate you in other ways, such as a higher salary, a signing bonus, or other benefits.
Don’t quickly assume that you will have a big salary
Working at a startup company is always a gamble you must be aware of. According to a frequently cited statistic, most startups fail, but the meaning of “failure” varies depending on the situation’s specifics.
You could try to bargain for equity in a startup, but the company might never have a vesting period, and you would end up with nothing. In the world of startups, you have to accept that kind of financial risk.
Still, you must stand up for your interests during negotiations. Just make sure that you factor in the potential drawbacks of starting a new business into your plan so that you can make an informed choice.
Feel free to seek counsel from a lawyer
Before signing any document related to your employment, you should seriously consider consulting an attorney. There are a lot of important legal questions that need to be answered, but those won’t be covered in this post because they’re outside its scope.
In any case, you shouldn’t expect the offer to be rescinded just because you consulted an attorney. You have the ability to seek legal counsel without the company being aware of it, which can assist in keeping the peace in the situation.
Feel free to make a counter offer
If you are offered equity in a company, you can accept the terms as presented or make a counteroffer to increase your financial stake.
Try saying, “I know you’re often not expecting a candidate to negotiate. But because I realize how crucial this is, I’d like to make a counteroffer.”
Alternatively, you could present your ability to negotiate as an asset, increasing the likelihood that your prospective employer will hire you.
Stay on track with your negotiations
Multiple components of the offered compensation may be up for negotiation, but you should focus on just the equity portion in the meeting.
Rather than negotiating other parts of a compensation package, startups typically focus on securing equity for critical employees.
This is because they may need more financial resources to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare options, plans for sick leave, and other benefits.