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Entrepreneurs often raise capital with a combination of convertible notes and an agreement called a SAFE, or Simple Agreement for Future Equity. A SAFE seems like a no-nonsense DIY solution for early-stage companies—but there's more you need to know about them than you might realize.

WilmerHale Partners David Haber and Ed Pease presented on the fundamental concepts around founder equity and founder agreements, and shared seven things that need to know about founder equity.

Sometimes I think about replacing the table in my office with a sofa and a box of tissues. I’m a lawyer, but sometimes I feel like a therapist. When founders sit down with me to hash out equity splits and trust and commitment issues, their tempers sometimes flare. Uncomfortable silences ensue. Feelings get hurt, and tears sometimes fall.

There’s no legal definition for “founder,” but it is one of the most important roles in a . Designating someone a founder means a lot for the long-term future of the company and for that individual; it is the founders who define and shape the vision for the company.

Since the 1849 gold rush, California has had a reputation as a great place to seek—and find—your fortune. The Golden State is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden State Warriors and, in Silicon Valley, golden opportunities. But, as you might suspect, California sometimes operates like its own country, with laws that aren’t like anyone else’s.