Stock Options & Creative Compensation

GDCR attorneys have significant experience assisting business owners in preparing stock option plans and agreements to provide key employees with an economic interest and incentive in the success of the business.

These plans range from outright sales of stock or stock options at below-market prices, allowing employees to participate in both management and the economic interests in the business, to grants of non-voting stock allowing employees to participate in only the economic success of the business. These plans are typically supplemented by a Shareholders Agreement which provides for the repurchase or cancellation of the stock or options upon the termination of employment.

Our corporate attorneys work closely with both our tax attorneys and employment attorneys to minimize taxes for the business, business owner and the employees, as well as to properly structure the plan in order to avoid disputes with current or former employees.

We also assist employees in connection with negotiating equity compensation agreements when joining a new employer.

Recent engagements include:

    • Assisting a client in the marketing business with establishing a second class of non-voting stock, thereby allowing key employees to participate in the economic success of the business, while at the same time allowing the founders of the business to maintain operational control of the business.
    • Assisting a manufacturing firm in connection with establishing a plan for the sale over time of minority stakes in the business to two key employees at market prices, while ensuring that the business could repurchase the employees’ stock on favorable terms in the event of the employees’ terminations.