What is the best way to get an unvested co-founder to resign?


founder on a team of 4. 3 of us agree that one co-founder who has been with the company since the beginning (~9 months) needs to leave. We’re all on a stock vesting agreement, and none of our equity has vested yet (1 year cliff that we haven’t reached).

We feel he's no longer interested and is not pulling his weight. He’s been notified of these issues in the past.

We’re trying to structure an agreement where all parties are happy. We’re making some money but we have very little cash in our bank account (we don’t pay ourselves a salary).

What is normal in a situation like this? We’re on good terms and would be happy to give him some equity even though he haven't met our cliff. We also feel we should or may need to give him some cash, to avoid a situation where we have to remove him against his will, which none of us would want. I know each company and situation is unique, but it would be valuable to get a sense of what is “expected” in a situation like this. We definitely do not want to structure an agreement where he gets cash after or contingent on us raising, both because of securities law issues, and because we think this would be a big red flag with investors.

Co-Founder Legal

asked Jul 17 '13 at 03:56
1 point
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1 Answer


I think it's better to talk to a lawyer in order to avoid future problems, such as him coming back and suing the other founders including you. Here is a website you can go to, there are some lawyers there who answer questions, and you can call them for a 30min free consultation. Hopefully it helps.

I have a startup, I'm working alone, and bootstrapping it. I don't want to deal with others specially right at the beginning. Wish you luck.


answered Jul 17 '13 at 05:18
31 points

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Co-Founder Legal