Stock option plan template

Stock option plan template

Author: Connor Bathen
Read time:  1 minute
Published date:  23 December 2020
Updated date:  11 April 2024
Creating a stock option plan is an intimidating process. As you work with your law firm, these example templates can help you demystify it.

As you prepare to issue equity to your startup's first employees, advisors, and shareholders, it’s critical to make sure you have all your legal ducks in a row. Creating a proper stock option plan is a key step in the process. 

Here at Carta, we work with thousands of founders every day who are just beginning the journey of creating their first stock option plan. There are several steps that you need to follow in order to stay compliant when granting equity — including (among other things)  corporate approvals, determination of fair market value (FMV), and state securities filings.

While you should always consult with your legal team to tailor your stock option plan to the specifics of your business, the example templates we’ve shared below can be a great place to start. We’ve included templates for three essential documents every stock option plan should have:

  1. Form of option agreement

  2. Form of exercise agreement

  3. Equity incentive plan

We hope you find these templates helpful as you work with your legal team to create your own. If you’re preparing to issue options and track equity on your cap table click here to learn how almost half of all the venture-backed companies in America are using Carta to do just that.

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On Carta, not only can you generate your stock option plan in a few clicks, but you can also issue equity directly to your employees and shareholders, and automatically vest their shares in real time as your company grows.

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Since Connor joined Carta in 2015, he has been dedicated to growing and scaling Carta. He has serviced hundreds, if not thousands, of clients, contributed to hiring over 150 new hires, and has managed multiple business and operations teams. Over the last 18 months, he's been focused on kickstarting the Salt Lake City office from 0 to 150+ employees. Today, Connor is helping scale Carta as part of the growth team.
DISCLOSURES: This communication is on behalf of eShares Inc., d/b/a Carta, Inc. (“Carta”). This communication is not to be construed as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice and is for informational purposes only. This communication is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The referenced documents are provided for your informational purposes only by eShares, Inc. dba Carta, Inc. (“Carta”). Carta does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice, and the use of these documents is not a substitute for such professional advice or services nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business or interests. USE OF THESE DOCUMENTS IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND CARTA ASSUMES NO LIABILITY FOR THE USE OF OR RELIANCE ON THESE DOCUMENTS. These documents are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express, implied, or statutory, including without limitation, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, satisfactory purpose, title or noninfringement. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so these exclusions may not apply to you.