How to Successfully Ask for More Equity in Your Business

Understanding Equity and Its Importance in Business

Businessman understanding equity in business

Asking for more equity in a business can sometimes be a difficult conversation to have. However, understanding what equity means and why it is important in business can make the process easier. Equity, in business, refers to the portion of a company that an individual or group owns. This ownership can come in different forms, such as stocks or ownership in a limited liability company (LLC).

The importance of equity lies in the fact that it represents ownership and control over a company. This control allows individuals to have a say in how the company operates, how profits are distributed, and how decisions are made. Without ownership, individuals or groups would have no right to have a say in any of these matters.

Equity is also important because it represents the value of a company. When a company is valued, the value is based on the total equity or ownership in the company. This value is important for determining the worth of a company and for any potential investors or buyers who may be interested in the business.

Another factor to consider with equity is that it can provide financial benefits for those who own it. As a company grows and becomes successful, the value of the equity can increase, which could lead to higher profits for the owners. Additionally, owning equity in a company can provide an opportunity for passive income through receiving dividends or distributions.

It is important to note that equity in a company does come with some risks. As an owner, individuals or groups are also taking on a portion of the company’s liabilities and debts. If a company were to go bankrupt, the owners of the equity would be responsible for any unpaid debts or liabilities.

Understanding equity and its importance in business is crucial when considering the possibility of asking for more equity. The benefits of owning equity can be significant, but it is also important to consider the potential risks. By understanding these factors and having a clear understanding of the value that individuals bring to the company, a conversation about asking for more equity can become smoother and more productive.

Evaluating Your Contribution to the Company

Evaluating Your Contribution to the Company

Asking for more equity is not an easy task. It requires confidence, courage, and a clear understanding of what you’re bringing to the table. Before you approach your employer about increasing your equity stake, it’s important to evaluate your contribution to the company and determine your worth.

The first step in evaluating your contribution is to take stock of what you’ve accomplished since you joined the company. Make a list of your key achievements, such as successful projects, new clients, or revenue growth. Quantify your results where possible by attaching numbers to your accomplishments. For example, if you brought in a new client, indicate how much revenue that client generated for the company.

Next, evaluate the skills and experience you bring to your role. Are there any unique talents or knowledge you have that makes you indispensable to the company? Consider your education, certifications, and professional development courses, as well as any experience you’ve had in related fields or industries. If you have specialized knowledge or experience that’s relevant to the company’s goals, make sure to emphasize it in your evaluation.

Another important factor to consider is your level of responsibility. Have you taken on additional duties since you started with the company? Are you now in charge of managing people or projects? Have you started to play a leadership role in the organization? The more responsibility you have, the more valuable you are to the company and the more equity you deserve.

Finally, consider the company’s current financial situation and its prospects for growth. If the company is doing well and is poised for continued success, it’s reasonable to ask for more equity. However, if the company is struggling or uncertain about its future, you may need to reassess your request.

Once you’ve completed your evaluation, you should have a clear idea of the value you bring to the company and how much equity you think you deserve. Armed with this information, you can approach your employer with confidence and make a compelling case for increasing your equity stake.

Presenting Your Case for More Equity

Presenting Your Case for More Equity

If you have found yourself in a position where you believe that you deserve more equity in your company, it can be intimidating to bring up the topic. However, it is a conversation worth having if you believe that you have contributed significantly to the success of the company and that you deserve a larger share of the pie. Here are some tips on how to present your case for more equity.

1. Prepare Your Argument


The first step to presenting your case for more equity is to prepare a solid argument. You need to be able to clearly articulate why you deserve a larger share of equity in the company. Start by reflecting on the work that you have done for the company so far and what you have achieved. Look at the value that you have added to the company, whether that is through increasing revenue, improving processes, or bringing in new clients. You should also consider your role in the company and the importance of that role to the overall success of the business.


Once you have identified these key points, put them into a clear and concise argument. Use data and visual aids such as charts and graphs to support your case and make it easier for your boss to understand the value that you bring to the company.

2. Choose the Right Time and Place


Timing is everything when it comes to presenting your case for more equity. You want to make sure that you choose the right time and place to have this conversation. Look for an opportune time when your boss is not too busy or stressed. Additionally, consider the right setting; you may be more comfortable presenting your case in a meeting, or you may prefer to do it over lunch or coffee.

3. Be Confident and Assertive


When you present your argument, it’s incredibly important to be confident and assertive. Make sure that you speak clearly and enunciate your words so that your boss can understand everything that you are saying. Keep your voice calm and level, and make eye contact with your boss. Additionally, stand up straight and use open body language to indicate confidence.


While it’s important to be confident, you should also be assertive. This means that you need to be firm in your request for more equity. However, remember that being assertive does not mean being aggressive or confrontational. You should be polite and respectful during your conversation and approach the discussion as a negotiation rather than a demand.

4. Have a Plan B

plan b

Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B. While you may believe that you deserve more equity, your boss may not agree. In this case, it’s important to have a backup plan. This could mean negotiating for other benefits, such as a higher salary or more vacation time. Alternatively, you may need to consider whether it’s time to look for a new job that offers better equity opportunities.

Presenting your case for more equity can be a nerve-wracking experience, but if you have a solid argument and approach the conversation in a confident and assertive manner, you may be able to negotiate a better deal for yourself.

Negotiating and Structuring the Equity Deal

Negotiating and Structuring the Equity Deal

Asking for more equity in a company can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with how to structure and negotiate an equity deal. It is important to approach the situation with a clear understanding of what you are looking for and what your bargaining power may be. Here are a few tips for negotiating and structuring the equity deal to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

1. Know Your Worth

Know Your Worth

The first step to negotiating for more equity in a company is to know your worth. You cannot effectively argue for a larger share of the equity if you do not understand your value to the business. Take some time to consider what you bring to the company and how that translates into a monetary value. This could include your skills, experience, education, and network, among other factors. By understanding your value, you can make a compelling case for why you deserve a larger share of the equity.

2. Understand the Company’s Value

Understand the Company's Value

It is also important to have a good understanding of the company’s value. This includes its financial health, market position, and growth potential, among other factors. If the company is doing well, it may be more amenable to giving you a larger share of the equity. Conversely, if the company is struggling, it may be more difficult to negotiate for more equity. Take some time to do your research and gather as much information as possible about the company before entering into negotiations.

3. Determine Your Ideal Equity Stake

Determine Your Ideal Equity Stake

Before entering into negotiations, it is important to determine your ideal equity stake. This will vary depending on your role in the company and your goals. For example, if you are a founder or early employee, your ideal equity stake may be higher than if you joined the company later on. Consider what you are willing to accept and what would be a dealbreaker. This will give you a clear idea of what to ask for during negotiations.

4. Structure the Equity Deal

Structure the Equity Deal

Once you have determined your ideal equity stake, it is time to structure the deal. There are several options when it comes to structuring equity deals, so it is important to choose the method that works best for you and the company. Here are a few common options:

  • Vesting Schedule: A vesting schedule is a timeline for when equity shares become fully vested. This can be based on time (for example, 25% of shares vest after one year, 50% after two years, etc.) or on specific milestones (such as hitting a certain revenue target). This is a common way to structure equity deals for employees and founders.
  • Stock Options: Stock options give the recipient the right to purchase a certain number of shares at a set price (called the exercise price). This is a common way to structure equity deals for employees and advisors, as it allows them to benefit from the company’s growth without having to invest their own money.
  • Restricted Stock: Restricted stock is a type of equity that is subject to certain restrictions, such as a vesting schedule or a lock-up period during which it cannot be sold. This is often used as a way to incentivize key employees or founders to stay with the company long-term.

It is important to work with a lawyer or financial advisor when structuring an equity deal, as there are legal and tax implications to consider.


Asking for more equity in a company can be a nerve-wracking experience, but by approaching negotiations with a clear understanding of your value, the company’s value, and your ideal equity stake, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to take the time to structure the deal in a way that works best for both you and the company. With a little preparation and negotiation savvy, you can secure a larger share of the equity and position yourself for long-term success.

How to Ask for More Equity While Maintaining a Positive Relationship with the Company and its Stakeholders

positive relationship with company and stakeholders

Asking for more equity in a company can be a tense and potentially uncomfortable conversation to have, but it’s an important one if you want to have an ownership stake in the company you’re helping build. To ensure that you maintain a positive relationship with the company and its stakeholders, here are some tips on how to approach this conversation:

Do Your Research

do your research

Before you enter into a negotiation about your equity stake, it’s important to do your research. Look at your job responsibilities, the industry standards, and current market trends. Be clear about your expectations in terms of what is a reasonable percentage of equity for someone in your position. Understanding your company’s financials and projections will also prepare you to make an informed case for why you deserve more equity.

Be Professional

being professional

When you sit down with your manager, the CEO, or the company’s board members to ask for more equity, it’s imperative to be professional and businesslike throughout the conversation. This means being well-prepared, speaking clearly and politely, and avoiding emotional outbursts, accusations, or ultimatums. Keep the conversation about the equity stake and avoid bringing up personal issues or conflicts that may exist in the office.

Be Specific

be specific

When you make your case for why you deserve more equity, it’s important to be specific about what you’re asking for. Make sure you know exactly what you want in terms of equity percentage, vesting schedule, and other important details. If you’re not sure what’s realistic or appropriate, consult with someone who can give you advice – an industry mentor, a lawyer, or a financial advisor. This will demonstrate to your employer that you’ve done your homework and can be taken seriously.

Be Open to Negotiation

be open to negotiation

Finally, remember that negotiating for more equity is a back-and-forth conversation. Your employer or manager may have other opinions or concerns that you haven’t considered, and it’s important to listen and be open to their ideas. Be willing to compromise if necessary and understand that your company may not be able to give you 100% of what you’re asking for. If you remain flexible and solution-oriented throughout the conversation, you’ll be much more likely to maintain a positive relationship with the company and its stakeholders, even if you don’t get everything you’re hoping for.

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