I'm starting my first company (software for Reputation Management) and will be contracting 3 guys; 2 full-time paid and 1 who is doing work pro bono. As it happens in the early stages of companies, money resources are very limited so I would like to offer incentive stock option plans to those guys (who I'm planning to employ full-time in the future any way). My question is, can I offer them any stock options and if yes, how it will be calculated if they do not have employment contract with my company?
You can issue them NQSO (non-incentive stock-options). By definition, ISO can only be issued to employees. Just put in standard vesting based on them having a working relationship with the company (that includes contracting and being employeed), and you are set.
Of course, any stock-option needs to be drafted by competent lawyer, meaning a few thousand dollars of expenses. Don't try to do this at home or you'll mess it up.
Alternatively, you can grant them stock, not options.