EquityZen's Blog On Startups and Their Economics

What You Need to Know About Stock Options, Pay Packages, and What You're Really Getting Offered

Atish Davda | October 24, 2014
At EquityZen, we make a big fuss about understanding equity compensation. After all, would you accept a job offer of 50,000 a year if you didn't know the currency in which you would be paid? What if it were USD? GBP? BTC?

So you have more tools at your disposal, we have compiled a list of questions you should ask before choosing among a few offers or accepting the final one. Below is an excerpt from our piece on In case you need a refresher, here are some earlier pieces we've written to help you with the basics:

Without further ado, here is what you need to know about stock options, pay packages, and what you're really getting offered:
Technology start-ups today offer exciting career opportunities. Below is a guide to help you navigate the all-important equity package in your start-up job offer.

Start-ups vs. Corporations

Let us consider a firm a venture-backed start-up that sits somewhere between securing seed financing and achieving $1 billion in enterprise value. Evaluating a job offer at a start-up versus a traditional corporation can look like this:

Evaluating Offers
If you are evaluating between offers for similar roles from different start-ups, your decision will come down to the headline figures: salary and equity. While crude, here are calculators to help with salary ranges from WealthFront and AngelList. But, what do the equity figures mean?

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