{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m leaving a firm partnership to start a firm with two other people. I haven’t worked with them but they’re highly recommended. I’m the only one with sales exp. How should we navigate equity/comp?", "post_id": "5d77fdcc3f42f50024897a79", "reply_count": 19, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5902937c77e26a00105a5bd9", "bowl_name": "Partner One" }

I’m leaving a firm partnership to start a firm with two other people. I haven’t worked with them but they’re highly recommended. I’m the only one with sales exp. How should we navigate equity/comp?

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Would be helpful to get more context. What type of company are you starting (product? Service?) what are their roles? What’s the ambition (just you 3 or a growing company?)? If it’s consultancy, I’d maintain a 33% split each and look at how to distribute profit according to lead and sales + shares + potential other objectives. You don’t necessarily have to attribute it solely to share structure. Again strongly depends on what you want to build... other things besides sales me be vital too.

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Thanks a ton. A second set of eyes is really helpful. Equal sounds fine to me.

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Good luck

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Thank you!

I should clarify that I’ve known them both for years, I just haven’t worked for them. They’ll both bring one big name client with them, where I’ll bring a whole book.

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OP - you should work with a lawyer who’s well versed in startup law. Build a safe for finding, have them build equity cap tables for you and other investors down the line. Why would you risk this?

Of course I already have. I’m looking for personal, supplemental, and anecdotal “advice” from other consultants that I can pair with guidance from our lawyer.

Let me know if you know of any able startup lawyer. Going though similar situation I.e. quitting to start my own Unicorn!

Partner, D1, MCK - I recently got laid off but have significant amount of consulting and industry experience. If you need any help let me know. Happy to connect while I’m still trying to figure out next steps in my life.

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Think more about the culture you want to create as you grow than than how to split the pot among the three of you today. Compensation and equity drive culture and getting this right drives the success of the business. Do you want an eat what you kill model? Do you want to attract partners and play to their strengths (some are better at sales, others delivery)? Of course you want to incentivize sales and growth but are their other attributes you want to focus on (delivery, people development, etc.) Start with mission, vision, and values and let those inform your decision making on compensation and equity.

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