How to Negotiate Compensation with a Startup

When negotiating compensation with a startup, it's important to keep in mind that startups often have limited resources and may not be able to offer the same compensation as a larger, more established company. However, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting a fair deal:

I don't have any helpful templates or spreadsheets to help with negotiations. It is hard to put a formula on it, but consider the following things before going to work for a startup business.

Research the market rate for your position and industry. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect in terms of salary and benefits.

Consider the value you will bring to the company. How will your skills and experience help the startup grow and succeed? Make sure to highlight your unique qualifications and how they will benefit the company.

Negotiate the total compensation package. While salary is important, there are other elements of the compensation package to consider, such as equity, bonuses, and benefits. Don't be afraid to ask for a good amount of equity if you are considered a cofounder or in the very early stages. The work you will end up doing is going to be tough at this stage.

If you are coming on as an independent contractor, you should go for a higher rate than the market / industry standard since there will be no employee benefits nor payroll tax breaks (the employer pays half of the payroll taxes for employees, but not independent contractors).

Don't be afraid to negotiate. It's okay to ask for what you want, but make sure to do so in a professional and respectful manner.

Be willing to compromise. While it's important to advocate for yourself, remember that you are negotiating with a startup that may have limited resources. Be open to finding a mutually beneficial agreement.

Be clear on the scope of work that you are willing to do and set boundaries. Startups are stressful and often times if you are working for one they will lean into you quite a bit for a lot of stuff since it is often cheaper than getting $1,000/hr expert diligence / implementation consulting / what have you.

If the success or failure of the startup is really on your shoulders, then you should be getting compensated accordingly to take on that stress, money or equity.

Article found in Startups.