Startup Employees: Do You Really Own Your Vested Shares?

Can the startup you joined take back your vested shares if you’re terminated or leave before an acquisition or IPO? Check the company’s equity plan agreement for a “clawback” provision which could essentially render those shares – that you worked so hard for – worthless. Startups, like any other company, seek to attract and retain highly-skilled and sought-after candidates. However, because startups often can’t match the salaries of a more established company, one way they compete is by offering vesting schedules where employees earn shares as part of their compensation package. After those shares vest, the employee can then “exercise” them – that is, pay the company for the earned stock and

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