Pre-employment review services

Joining a new company is a thrilling opportunity – all the more so when equity is part of the equation. However, employees are not always sufficiently attentive to all of the specifics of their offers. We encourage employees to be thorough about understanding terms. Employers respect employees who are, and being sophisticated about these matters can make a significant difference come exit or separation.

The details are important: if your incentive is structured as an option, for how long can you exercise it after your employment ends? (You might be surprised.) Should you file a §83(b) election? What is a §83(b) election?

Goodcounsel regularly helps employees navigate the unfamiliar terrain of incentive equity and negotiate appropriate modifications with the prospective employer. Because a significant part of goodcounsel’s practice also involves representing early-stage companies, we understand the employer perspective well, and have a firmly grounded view of what is typical and fair.

Goodcounsel’s pre-employment service, which we offer on a fixed-fee basis, includes reviewing and providing comments on the following documents:

  • The employment agreement or offer letter
  • The incentive grant agreement and the company plan which governs it
  • Other relevant terms (e.g., equity-related provisions of corporate bylaws or a limited liability company agreement)

Here’s some free advice: don’t screw yourself by being cheap. If you have an offer that includes equity from a good company, then you can afford to obtain legal advice and you should. This is the adult world, and adults don’t sign agreements without understanding what’s in them. The cost of a review up front is inconsequential compared to the value that may ultimate be at stake.

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