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This document is intended for use by the founders of a new startup who wish to provide for some level of claw-back of a co-founder’s initial shareholding if he or she:

  • ceases to work for the company (whether as an employee or contractor); or
  • fails to make the contribution required of them to the business.

This type of arrangement is referred to in the startup and venture capital world as founder vesting.

The approach taken in this document is to provide for progressive vesting of a co-founder’s shares over a set period (e.g. 36 months). If the co-founder leaves the company or fails to make the required contribution to the business during that period, the company has the option to repurchase unvested shares for the price originally paid by the co-founder for those shares (which will usually be nil, if the shares were issued on incorporation of the company).

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