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Compensate your employees with a Stock Options Plan.

Get them set up the fast and easy way, with a Good Lawyer to draft the agreement on your behalf.

$720 (+ tax)

A woman getting a Stock Option Plan

Not sure what you need? Book a free call with our Legal Concierge.

The modern way to compensate and motivate your team.

Stock Options Plans give employees the option to purchase shares at a set price, allowing them to profit from future increases in stock price. A good Plan will encourage retention and align employee goals with company goals.

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Why book a Stock Options Plan?

Reduce your risk.

Compensating employees with both salary and stock options can improve your cashflow when the business is going through a downturn and retain top performers when times are good.

Motivate your managers.

Employees that are compensated with stock options are more likely to act in ways that will increase the company's stock price.

Attract top talent.

Stock options are popular in startups and fast-growing companies because they allow organizations to provide competitive compensation without shelling out cash right away.

What's covered in a Stock Option Plan?

Discuss your business goals with your lawyer and they will craft a Stock Option Plan that will help you reach them. This includes the establishment of key terms like vesting periods and expiration dates.

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Your Stock Options Plan

1. Establish prices

Set the "strike price" that employees will be able to purchase the shares at once they are granted. Generally, this is fair market value at the time of issue.

2. Develop the timeline

Make it clear when the options will be granted, when they can be exercised, and when they expire.

3. Make it valid

Ensure that your Stock Options Plan aligns with your other corporate records, including corporate bylaws and your minute book.

How do Stock Options Plans work?

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1. Book a call

Pick a time to discuss your Stock Options Plan with your lawyer.

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2. Design your plan

Tell your lawyer which situations you need the Plan for. They will need to see your corporate records.

3. Receive your plan

You will receive a copy of the Stock Options Plan, ready for use.

Get a Stock Options Plan

Attract top talent, preserve your cash flow, and align employee goals with company goals by compensating them with stock options. Book a professional to draft your Stock Options Plan on Goodlawyer!

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. Your lawyer will always let you know the expected completion date of your project in advance.

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.

Are there any resources to help me improve my business?

Yes! We have an extensive library of small business resources ranging from templates, small business tips and tricks, business law, contract law and intellectual property. Check out our blog

Not sure what you need? Book a free call with our Legal Concierge.

Goodlawyer is an interactive online service that makes it faster and easier for clients to find and hire legal help solely based on their preferences. We are not a law firm, do not provide any legal services, legal advice or “lawyer referral services” and do not provide or participate in any legal representation.

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