Who prepares the cap table for a startup seeking financing?


Just curious: for the startups here, who prepared your cap table--the Excel spreadsheet showing ownership of your equity, and reflecting conversions of debt, future financings, etc.?

  • You (your company, including your CFO)
  • Your accountants
  • Your lawyer
  • Someone else

Who is in the best position to do a cap table? Why would someone ask the company's lawyers to prepare a cap table when they are words people, not numbers people?


asked Dec 18 '11 at 09:20
1,747 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

2 Answers


As founder of the company you should know how cap tables work and have the skills to build one in Excel. You'll use them all the time, especially during financing rounds when you will need to constantly evaluate different scenarios and adjust shares to reach certain goals.

Lawyers working with startup financing are also qualified to build cap tables. In a modern American VC-funded company, the company's lawyers would maintain the cap table and keep track of who owns what.

answered Jan 18 '12 at 14:00
Joel Spolsky
13,482 points


At my startup, I wasn't around in the beginning so I don't know who did the initial cap table, but when I came on post series A, it was our corporate attorneys who were in charge of maintaining the cap table. These attorneys were definitely numbers people.

answered Dec 19 '11 at 04:32
1,936 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: