Stock Option Plan

Everything you need to know about getting a Stock Option Plan over Goodlawyer.

  1. What is a Stock Option Plan?
  2. Pricing and Scope
  3. What is the Process?
  4. Why does my business need these documents?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Book your Stock Option Plan

 


What is a Stock Option Plan?

Stock Option Plans give employees the option to purchase shares and own equity at a set price. This allows them to profit from increases in the company’s value, should they exercise their options to purchase shares. Compensating employees with stock options can increase employee retention and motivation, improve your business’ cash flow, and better align employees with company goals. 

These plans are highly variable and every Stock Option Plan is customized to meet the business’ specific needs. The plan includes a number of documents like the Stock Option Agreement for your employees, Stock Option Certificates, and a Directors Resolution approving the Stock Option Plan.

 


Pricing and scope

$720 + Tax

  • $600 Legal fee
  • $120 Service fee
  • This price is based on a basic Stock Option Plan and is subject to additional fees if your matter is more complex. Your lawyer will always clarify any additional costs for your approval

Included

  • Project kick-off call to gather information, advise you, and answer questions
  • One customized Stock Option Plan including Stock Option Agreement, Stock Option Certificate, and Directors Resolution
  • One round of minor revisions if necessary

Not Included

  • Completing legal research or providing a formal written legal opinion
  • Additional work or questions following the delivery of the Stock Option Plan
  • Later revisions to the Stock Option Plan if you make any changes to your business

Your lawyer may recommend additional services on or after your call. Your approval for any additional work is always required and you will never be billed for services you didn't agree to.



What is the process?

  1. Book a call. Pick a time to discuss your Stock Option Plan with a Good Lawyer.
  2. Design your Plan. Have a lawyer evaluate your current corporate structure and get recommendations that make sense for your business. Note, you will have to provide your lawyer with a copy of your minute book.
  3. Receive your Plan. You will receive a digital copy of your customized Stock Option Plan.

 


Why book a Stock Option Plan?

Motivate your team.

Employees who own a stake in the company are more motivated to act in the interest of the company and help you grow your business. 

Attract top talent.

Stock options are popular in startups and fast-growing companies because they allow organizations to provide competitive compensation and attract dedicated employees.

Preserve cash flow.

Compensating employees with stock options can improve your cash flow in the business’ early stages or through a downturn, and help retain top performers when business is booming.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

How do my employees get their shares?

Stock options aren’t actual shares, they are the option to buy a set number of shares at a set price, usually called the strike price, exercise price, or grant price. As the company grows and increases value, your employees could exercise their options to buy shares at the cheaper strike price and then sell them at the actual market value for a profit. 

If an employee wants to exercise their options (otherwise called vesting their options), the company will require a Directors Resolution approving the exercise of the options and the issuance of shares, issuing the Share Certificates, and finally updating the shareholders register. This will require a lawyer, and is not part of your initial Stock Option Plan on Goodlawyer.

What happens when an employee with outstanding options ends their employment?

Typically, unvested stock options are dealt with in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Stock Option Plan. In the absence of a properly drafted Stock Option Plan, unvested employee stock options may continue to be valid following the end of the employee’s employment. Accordingly, it is very important for companies to have a Stock Option Plan that addresses how stock options are dealt with at the end of an employee’s employment. Your Good Lawyer can help with that.

How long does a Stock Option Plan take to draft?

You can expect to receive your finalized Stock Option Plan within 1 week. If your needs are more complex than usual, it could take longer.

Can I just use a template I found on the internet?

Stock Option Plans are almost always highly customized documents. This is because corporations operate under different rules if they are incorporated in different ways, in different jurisdictions, and/or if they have different corporate bylaws. In addition, it is extremely difficult to develop an effective Stock Option Plan without an understanding of what shares are currently worth, how many have been issued, and who currently owns the existing shares. 

Do I need a lawyer in my province?

Generally, no, you don’t need a local lawyer to draft a Stock Option Plan. Stock Option Plans should cover you across the whole country, but if your business has some nuance that requires local expertise, your lawyer will let you know and Goodlawyer can set you up with another lawyer who can help.

Will I be able to communicate with my lawyer after the kickoff call?

Yes, absolutely. You can use the Goodlawyer platform to send messages and files. If substantially more communication is needed, your lawyer may request another call.

 


"I would recommend Goodlawyer to everyone. Incredible information, incredible advice and most certainly incredible feedback from any questions or concerns a business owner has about legal requirements and documentation for their particular needs."

Matthew, August 2020 — 5-Star Google Review


 

Attract and retain top talent.

Book a Stock Option Plan

 

Your lawyer will assess your situation and make sure this is the correct service for your needs.

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