November 7, 2023

Founder's Pocket Legal Guide: Employee Stock Options


What is the founder’s pocket legal guide on employee stock options?

We’ve created a nifty guide that quickly gives an important overview on:

  • Key terms explained including those covered in the stock option plan and agreements
  • How to allocate an option pool
  • Best practices for option pool allocation for companies registered in the US and Europe
  • How to issue the first stock options 
  • Tax considerations about issuing and exercising stock options
  • How to exercise a stock option
  • The most important things to consider when issuing options to employees situated in the same country as the company and to contractors located in foreign countries
To get a high-quality version of this guide, fill out a form

📚 Want to read more? Check out our full guide on how to legally structure stock options issuance.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for founders who wish to learn more about using stock options as a means to incentivise and reward their employees, particularly at early stages of starting a business.

Employees who have been offered stock options or who are wanting to learn more will also find this cheatsheet useful.

When is this guide most useful?

This is a handy tool for any founder or employee to have access to, however it’s especially useful in these circumstances:

  • When you, a founder, are registering a company and want to understand how the stock option pool should be allocated 
  • When you, a founder, are preparing for fundraising and potential investors are asking you about stock option pool
  • When you, a founder, are planning to issue stock options to your early employees and don't know where to start from the legal perspective
  • When you, an employee, want to get a full picture of the process of issuing stock options, and learn more about cliff vesting and vesting schedules

👋 Looking for a Web3-focused resource? Our team has prepared a token incentive scheme template with a guide on how to use it.

How to get the pocket guide

Fill out the form to receive a high-quality version of the cheatsheet via email, which includes great links to useful resources.

The pocket guide on employee stock options is prepared for you by the Legal Nodes team, a legal platform for tech companies operating globally. Legal Nodes helps startups establish and maintain legal structures in 20+ countries, including assisting with the creation of option plans and the issuance of options to employees worldwide.

Disclaimer: none of this information should be considered as legal, tax, or investment advice.

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