We have a Hong Kong company and are trying to launch. We have limited funds but are thinking of hiring someone and paying in shares. However, we don't want to just sell shares and watch our new partner go on vacation.
Are vested shares the best options? Can this be done by the directors of the company, or is a lawyer/accounting firm required?
You definitely want everyone to be on a vesting schedule. All co-founders should be on a vesting schedule as well, not just your employees.
We use a 4-year schedule with a 1-year cliff (which means if someone leaves before 1 year, they don't get to keep the vested equity/options).
The vesting schedule is usually specified in the employment agreement. You could find a template on Docracy if you want to do without a lawyer for now.