How much equity to give to a sales/business guy?


I'm a web developer running a startup in development and i'm looking for a sales/business relationships guy who can do marketing and contact businesses that we'll promote their products.

How much reasonable % of the company to give to that guy assuming there is no salary for now?

And what's the best method to find the perfect candidate?

I'm currently a one person company and not looking to hire other developers anytime soon.



asked Jun 19 '11 at 20:52
139 points
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2 Answers


It really depends on what this business/sales guy will be doing. If they are just going to be like a contract sales person, who has other accounts besides yours, then the equity would be on the 1-5% range, depending on the time they put in and the sales they generate.

If this person is really going to be part of the team and work full-time to get deals and craft the direction of the company, then 10 to 15 or even higher is warranted.

Regarding the perfect candidate, I would look for these traits:

  • Knowledge of your market space, including knowing a lot of customers
  • Track record of selling or developing business in a startup, where they were used to thin budgets
  • You get along with them at a personal level. This one is critical. Do not hire anyone you don't get along with even if they are a super star. It will just create friction.
  • Shares your vision for where the company needs to go.
answered Jun 19 '11 at 22:35
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points


Mark Suster would suggest something like this: 10-15% vested over 4 years.
Ideally you'd learn how to make your first sales yourself... why do you need a middleman to talk to your fist customers?

answered Jun 19 '11 at 21:33
66 points

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