Equity Incentive PlanStartup Law ResourcesIncorporateEmployment Law, Human Resources
An equity incentive plan allows the company to issue restricted and grant stock options to employees, advisors and consultants. The company will need to decide how many of the company's shares are in the equity incentive plan.
1. Purposes of the Plan. The purposes of the [Current Year] Equity Incentive Plan are to attract and retain the best available personnel for positions of substantial responsibility, to provide additional incentive to Employees, Directors and Consultants and to promote the success of the Company’s business. Options granted under the Plan may be Incentive Stock Options or Nonstatutory Stock Options, as determined by the Administrator at the time of grant. Restricted Stock may also be granted under the Plan.
2. Definitions. As used herein, the following definitions shall apply:
2.1. “Acquisition” means and includes each of the following:
2.1.1. A transaction or series of transactions (other than an offering of Common Stock to the general public through a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission) whereby any “person” or related “group” of “persons” (as such terms are used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d)(2) of the Exchange Act) (other than the Company, any of its Subsidiaries, an employee benefit plan maintained by the Company or any of its subsidiaries or a “person” that, prior to such transaction, directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the Company) directly or indirectly acquires beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 under the Exchange Act) of securities of the Company possessing more than 50% of the total combined voting power of the Company’s securities outstanding immediately after such acquisition; provided, however, any change in the beneficial ownership of the securities of the Company as a result of a private financing of the Company that is approved by the Board shall not be deemed to be an Acquisition; or
2.1.2. During any period of two consecutive years, individuals who, at the beginning of such period, constitute the Board together with any new director(s) (other than a director designated by a person who shall have entered into an agreement with the Company to effect a transaction described in Section 2(a)(i) or Section 2(a)(iii)) whose election by the Board or nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders was approved by a vote of at least a majority of the directors then still in office who either were directors at the beginning of the two-year period or whose election or nomination for election was previously so approved, cease for any reason to constitute a majority thereof; or
2.1.3. The consummation by the Company (whether directly involving the Company or indirectly involving the Company through one or more intermediaries) of (x) a merger, consolidation, reorganization, or business combination or (y) a sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets in any single transaction or series of related transactions or (z) the acquisition of assets or stock of another entity, in each case other than a transaction:
188.8.131.52. Which results in the Company’s voting securities outstanding immediately before the transaction continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into voting securities of the Company or the person that, as a result of the transaction, controls, directly or indirectly, the Company or owns, directly or indirectly, all or substantially all of the Company’s assets or otherwise succeeds to the business of the Company (the Company or such person, the “Successor Entity”)) directly or indirectly, at least a majority of the combined voting power of the Successor Entity’s outstanding voting securities immediately after the transaction, and
184.108.40.206. After which no person or group beneficially owns voting securities representing 50% or more of the combined voting power of the Successor Entity; provided, however, that no person or group shall be treated for purposes of this Section 2(a)(iii)(B) as beneficially owning 50% or more of combined voting power of the Successor Entity solely as a result of the voting power held in the Company prior to the consummation of the transaction; or
220.127.116.11. The Company’s stockholders approve a liquidation or dissolution of the Company.
2.2. “Administrator” means the Board or the Committee responsible for conducting the general administration of the Plan, as applicable, in accordance with Section 4 hereof. The Administrator shall have full and final authority, which shall be exercised in its discretion, to determine conclusively whether an Acquisition has occurred pursuant to the above definition, and the date of the occurrence of such Acquisition and any incidental matters relating thereto.
2.3. “Applicable Laws” means the requirements relating to the administration of stock option plans under U.S. state corporate laws, U.S. federal and state securities laws, the Code, any stock exchange or quotation system on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted and the applicable laws of any foreign country or jurisdiction where Awards are granted under the Plan.
2.4. “Award” means any award of an Option or Restricted Stock under the Plan.
2.5. “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.
2.6. “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or any successor statute or statutes thereto. Reference to any particular Code section shall include any successor section.
2.7. “Committee” means a committee appointed by the Board in accordance with Section 4 hereof.
2.8. “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company.
2.9. “Company” means [Company Name] a Delaware corporation.
2.10. “Consultant” means any consultant or adviser if: (i) the consultant or adviser renders bona fide services to the Company or any Parent or Subsidiary of the Company; (ii) the services rendered by the consultant or adviser are not in connection with the offer or sale of securities in a capital-raising transaction and do not directly or indirectly promote or maintain a market for the Company’s securities; and (iii) the consultant or adviser is a natural person.
2.11. “Director” means a member of the Board.
2.12. “Disability” means total and permanent disability within the meaning of Section 22(e)(3) of the Code.
2.13. “Employee” means any person, including an Officer or Director, who is an employee (as defined in accordance with Section 3401(c) of the Code) of the Company or any Parent or Subsidiary of the Company. A Service Provider shall not cease to be an Employee in the case of (i) any leave of absence approved by the Company or (ii) transfers between locations of the Company or between the Company, its Parent, any Subsidiary, or any successor. For purposes of Incentive Stock Options, no such leave may exceed ninety (90) days, unless reemployment upon expiration of such leave is guaranteed by statute or contract. Neither service as a Director nor payment of a director’s fee by the Company shall be sufficient, by itself, to constitute “employment” by the Company.
2.14. “Exchange Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any successor statute or statutes thereto. Reference to any particular Exchange Act section shall include any successor section.
2.15. “Fair Market Value” means, as of any date, the value of a share of Common Stock determined as follows:
2.15.1. If the Common Stock is listed on any established stock exchange or a national market system, its Fair Market Value shall be the closing sales price for a share of such stock (or the closing bid, if no sales were reported) as quoted on such exchange or system for such date, or if no bids or sales were reported for such date, then the closing sales price (or the closing bid, if no sales were reported) on the trading date immediately prior to such date during which a bid or sale occurred, in each case, as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Administrator deems reliable;
2.15.2. If the Common Stock is regularly quoted by a recognized securities dealer but selling prices are not reported, its Fair Market Value shall be the mean between the high bid and low asked prices for a share of the Common Stock on such date, or if no closing bid and asked prices were reported for such date, the date immediately prior to such date during which closing bid and asked prices were quoted for such Common Stock, in each case, as reported in The Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Administrator deems reliable; or
2.15.3. In the absence of an established market for the Common Stock, the Fair Market Value thereof shall be determined in good faith by the Administrator.
2.16. “Holder” means a person who has been granted or awarded an Award or who holds Shares acquired pursuant to the exercise of an Awards.
2.17. “Incentive Stock Option” means an Option intended to qualify as an incentive stock option within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code and which is designated as an Incentive Stock Option by the Administrator.
2.18. “Independent Director” means a Director who is not an Employee of the Company.
2.19. “Nonstatutory Stock Option” means an Option not intended to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option, as designated in the applicable Option Agreement
2.20. “Officer” means a person who is an officer of the Company within the meaning of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
2.21. “Option” means a stock option granted pursuant to the Plan.
2.22. “Option Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a Holder evidencing the terms and conditions of an individual Option grant. The Option Agreement is subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan.
2.23. “Optioned Stock” means Shares that are subject to an Option or that were issued pursuant to the exercise of an Option
2.24. “Parent” means any corporation (or other entity), whether now or hereafter existing (other than the Company), in an unbroken chain of corporations (or other entities) ending with the Company if each of the corporations (or other entities) other than the last corporation (or other entity) in the unbroken chain owns stock (or other equity interests) possessing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock (or other equity interests) in one of the other corporations (or other entities) in such chain.
2.25. “Plan” means the [Current Year] Equity Incentive Plan.
2.26. “Public Trading Date” means the first date upon which Common Stock of the Company is listed (or approved for listing) upon notice of issuance on any securities exchange or designated (or approved for designation) upon notice of issuance as a national market security on an interdealer quotation system.
2.27. “Restricted Stock” means Shares acquired pursuant to the exercise of an unvested Option in accordance with Section 10(h) below or pursuant to Section 12 below.
2.28. “Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement” means a written agreement between the Company and a Holder evidencing the terms and conditions of the Holder’s purchase of Restricted Stock pursuant to the exercise of an unvested Option in accordance with Section 10(h) below or a Stock Purchase Right granted under Section 12 below.
2.29. “Rule 16b-3” means that certain Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act, as such Rule may be amended from time to time.
2.30. “Section 16(b)” means Section 16(b) of the Exchange Act, as such Section may be amended from time to time.
2.31. “Securities Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any successor statute or statutes thereto. Reference to any particular Securities Act section shall include any successor section.
2.32. “Service Provider” means an Employee, Director or Consultant.
2.33. “Share” means a share of Common Stock.
2.34. “Subsidiary” means any corporation (or other entity), whether now or hereafter existing (other than the Company), in an unbroken chain of corporations (or other entities) beginning with the Company if each of the corporations (or other entities) other than the last corporation (or other entity) in the unbroken chain owns stock possessing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock in one of the other corporations (or other entities) in such chain.
3. Stock Subject to the Plan. Subject to the provisions of Section 13 hereof, the maximum aggregate number of Shares which may be issued upon exercise of such Awards is [# Shares Subject To Plan] Shares. Shares issued upon exercise of an Aware may be authorized but unissued, or reacquired Common Stock. If an Award expires or becomes unexercisable without having been exercised in full, the unpurchased Shares which were subject thereto shall become available for future grant or sale under the Plan (unless the Plan has terminated). Shares which are delivered by the Holder or withheld by the Company upon the exercise of an Aware under the Plan, in payment of the exercise price thereof or tax withholding thereon, may again be optioned, granted or awarded hereunder, subject to the limitations of this Section 3. If Shares of Restricted Stock are repurchased by the Company at their original purchase price, such Shares shall become available for future grant under the Plan (unless the Plan has terminated). Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section 3, no Shares may again be optioned, granted or awarded if such action would cause an Incentive Stock Option to fail to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option under Code Section 422.
4. Administration of the Plan
4.1. General. The Plan shall be administered by the Board or a Committee, or a combination thereof, as determined by the Board. The Plan may be administered by different administrative bodies with respect to different classes of Participants and, if permitted by Applicable Laws, the Board may authorize one or more officers of the Company to make Awards under the Plan to Employees and Consultants (who are not subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act) within parameters specified by the Board
4.2. Committee. If administration is delegated to a Committee, the Committee shall have, in connection with the administration of the Plan, the powers theretofore possessed by the Board, including the power to delegate to a subcommittee any of the administrative powers the Committee is authorized to exercise (and references in the Plan to the Board shall thereafter be to the Committee or subcommittee), subject, however, to such resolutions, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan, as may be adopted from time to time by the Board. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, unless otherwise determined by the Board, from and after the Public Trading Date, a Committee of the Board shall administer the Plan and the Committee shall consist solely of two or more Independent Directors each of whom is an “outside director,” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code, a “non-employee director” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3, and qualifies as “independent” within the meaning of any applicable stock exchange listing requirements. Members of the Committee shall also satisfy any other legal requirements applicable to membership on the Committee, including requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other Applicable Laws. The Board may abolish the Committee at any time and revest in the Board the administration of the Plan. Appointment of Committee members shall be effective upon acceptance of appointment. Committee members may resign at any time by delivering written notice to the Board. Vacancies in the Committee may only be filled by the Board.
4.3. Powers of the Administrator. Subject to the provisions of the Plan and the specific duties delegated by the Board to such Committee, and subject to the approval of any relevant authorities, the Administrator shall have the authority in its sole discretion:
4.3.1. to determine the Fair Market Value;
4.3.2. to select the Service Providers to whom the Awards may from time to time be granted hereunder;
4.3.3. to determine the number of Shares to be covered by each such award granted hereunder;
4.3.4. to approve forms of agreement for use under the Plan;
4.3.5. to determine the terms and conditions of any Awards granted hereunder (such terms and conditions include, but are not limited to, the exercise price, the time or times when Awards may vest or be exercised (which may be based on performance criteria), any vesting acceleration or waiver of forfeiture restrictions, and any restriction or limitation regarding any Awards or the Common Stock relating thereto, based in each case on such factors as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, shall determine);
4.3.6. to determine whether to offer to buyout a previously granted Option as provided in Section 10(i) hereof and to determine the terms and conditions of such offer and buyout (including whether payment is to be made in cash or Shares);
4.3.7. to prescribe, amend and rescind rules and regulations relating to the Plan, including rules and regulations relating to subplans established for the purpose of qualifying for preferred tax treatment under foreign tax laws;
4.3.8. to allow Holders to satisfy withholding tax obligations by electing to have the Company withhold from the Shares to be issued upon exercise of an Awards that number of Shares having a Fair Market Value equal to the minimum amount required to be withheld based on the statutory withholding rates for federal and state tax purposes that apply to supplemental taxable income. The Fair Market Value of the Shares to be withheld shall be determined on the date that the amount of tax to be withheld is to be determined. All elections by Holders to have Shares withheld for this purpose shall be made in such form and under such conditions as the Administrator may deem necessary or advisable;
4.3.9. to amend the Plan or any Awards granted under the Plan as provided in Section 15 hereof; and
4.3.10. to construe and interpret the terms of the Plan and Awards granted pursuant to the Plan and to exercise such powers and perform such acts as the Administrator deems necessary or desirable to promote the best interests of the Company which are not in conflict with the provisions of the Plan.
4.4. Effect of Administrator’s Decision. All decisions, determinations and interpretations of the Administrator shall be final and binding on all Holders.
4.5. Indemnification. To the maximum extent permitted by Applicable Laws, each member of the Committee (including officers of the Company, if applicable), or of the Board, as applicable, shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from (i) any loss, cost, liability, or expense that may be imposed upon or reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit, or proceeding to which he or she may be a party or in which he or she may be involved by reason of any action taken or failure to act under the Plan or pursuant to the terms and conditions of any Award except for actions taken in bad faith or failures to act in bad faith, and (ii) any and all amounts paid by him or her in settlement thereof, with the Company’s approval, or paid by him or her in satisfaction of any judgment in any such claim, action, suit, or proceeding against him or her, provided that such member shall give the Company an opportunity, at its own expense, to handle and defend any such claim, action, suit or proceeding before he or she undertakes to handle and defend it on his or her own behalf. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights of indemnification to which such persons may be entitled under the Company’s Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws, by contract, as a matter of law, or otherwise, or under any other power that the Company may have to indemnify or hold harmless each such person
5. Eligibility. Nonstatutory Stock Options and Restricted Stock may be granted to Service Providers. Incentive Stock Options may be granted only to Employees of the Company (or a “parent corporation” or “subsidiary corporation” thereof within the meaning of Code Sections 424(e) or 424(f), respectively). If otherwise eligible, a Service Provider who has been granted an Option or Restricted Stock may be granted additional Options or Restricted Stock.
6.1. Maximum Value Limitation. Each Option shall be designated by the Administrator in the Option Agreement as either an Incentive Stock Option or a Nonstatutory Stock Option. However, notwithstanding such designations, to the extent that the aggregate Fair Market Value of Shares subject to a Holder’s Incentive Stock Options and other incentive stock options granted by the Company (or a “parent corporation” or “subsidiary corporation” thereof within the meaning of Code Sections 424(e) or 424(f), respectively), which become exercisable for the first time during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company or any such parent or subsidiary) exceeds $100,000, such excess Options or other options shall be treated as Nonstatutory Stock Options. If the Code is amended to provide for a different limitation from that set forth in the preceding sentence, such different limitation shall be deemed incorporated herein effective as of the date and with respect to such Options as required or permitted by such amendment to the Code. For purposes of this Section, Incentive Stock Options shall be taken into account in the order in which they were granted, and the Fair Market Value of the Shares shall be determined as of the time of grant.
6.2. No Continued Employment. Neither the Plan, nor Award shall confer upon a Holder any right with respect to continuing the Holder’s employment or consulting relationship with the Company, nor shall they interfere in any way with the Holder’s right or the Company’s right to terminate such employment or consulting relationship at any time, with or without cause.
7. Term of Plan. The Plan shall become effective upon its adoption by the Board of Directors. It shall continue in effect for a term of ten (10) years unless sooner terminated under Section 16 below.
8. Term of Option. The term of each Option shall be stated in the Option Agreement; provided, however, that the term shall be no more than ten (10) years from the date of grant thereof. In the case of an Incentive Stock Option granted to a Holder who, at the time the Option is granted, owns (or is treated as owning under Code Section 424) stock representing more than ten percent (10%) of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (or a “parent corporation” or “subsidiary corporation” thereof within the meaning of Code Sections 424(e) or 424(f), respectively), the term of the Option shall be five (5) years from the date of grant or such shorter term as may be provided in the Option Agreement.
9. Option Exercise Price and Consideration
9.1. Exercise Price. The per Share exercise price for the Shares to be issued pursuant to the exercise of an Option shall be such price as is determined by the Administrator and set forth in the Option Agreement, but shall be subject to the following:
9.1.1. In the case of an Incentive Stock Option
18.104.22.168. granted to an Employee who, at the time of grant owns stock representing more than ten percent (10%) of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (or a “parent corporation” or “subsidiary corporation” thereof within the meaning of Code Sections 424(e) or 424(f), respectively), the per Share exercise price shall be no less than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the date of grant.
22.214.171.124. granted to any other Employee, the per Share exercise price shall be no less than one hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value per Share on the date of grant.
9.1.2. Except as provided in subsection (iii) below, in the case of a Nonstatutory Stock Option the per Share exercise price shall be such price as is determined by the Administrator, provided that, if the per Share exercise price is less than 100% of the Fair Market Value on the date of grant, it shall otherwise comply with all Applicable Laws, including Section 409A of the Code;
9.1.3. In the case of a Nonstatutory Stock Option that is intended to qualify as performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code and is granted on or after the date, if ever, on which the Common Stock becomes a Listed Security, the per Share exercise price shall be no less than 100% of the Fair Market Value on the date of grant; and
9.1.4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Options may be granted with a per Share exercise price other than as required above pursuant to a merger or other corporate
9.2. Permissible Consideration. The consideration to be paid for the Shares to be issued upon exercise of an Option, including the method of payment, shall be determined by the Administrator (and, in the case of an Incentive Stock Option, shall be determined at the time of grant). Such consideration may consist of (1) cash, (2) check, (3) with the consent of the Administrator, a full recourse promissory note bearing interest (at no less than such rate as is a market rate of interest and which then precludes the imputation of interest under the Code), payable upon such terms as may be prescribed by the Administrator, and structured to comply with Applicable Laws, (4) with the consent of the Administrator, other Shares which have a Fair Market Value on the date of surrender equal to the aggregate exercise price of the Shares as to which such Option shall be exercised, (5) with the consent of the Administrator, surrendered Shares then issuable upon exercise of the Option having a Fair Market Value on the date of exercise equal to the aggregate exercise price of the Option or exercised portion thereof, (6) with the consent of the Administrator, property of any kind which constitutes good and valuable consideration, (7) with the consent of the Administrator, delivery of a notice that the Holder has placed a market sell order with a broker with respect to Shares then issuable upon exercise of the Options and that the broker has been directed to pay a sufficient portion of the net proceeds of the sale to the Company in satisfaction of the Option exercise price, provided, that payment of such proceeds is then made to the Company upon settlement of such sale, or (8) with the consent of the Administrator, any combination of the foregoing methods of payment.
10. Exercise of Option
10.1. Vesting; Fractional Exercises. Except as provided in Section 13 hereof, Options granted hereunder shall be vested and exercisable according to the terms hereof at such times and under such conditions as determined by the Administrator and set forth in the Option Agreement. An Option may not be exercised for a fraction of a Share.
10.2. Deliveries upon Exercise. All or a portion of an exercisable Option shall be deemed exercised upon delivery of all of the following to the Secretary of the Company, his or her office or such other authorized representative of the Company:
10.2.1. A written or electronic notice complying with the applicable rules established by the Administrator stating that the Option, or a portion thereof, is exercised. The notice shall be signed by the Holder or other person then entitled to exercise the Option or such portion of the Option;
10.2.2. Such representations and documents as the Administrator, in its sole discretion, deems necessary or advisable to effect compliance with Applicable Laws. The Administrator may, in its sole discretion, also take whatever additional actions it deems appropriate to effect such compliance, including, without limitation, placing legends on share certificates and issuing stop transfer notices to agents and registrars;
10.2.3. Upon the exercise of all or a portion of an unvested Option pursuant to Section 10(h) hereof, a Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement in a form determined by the Administrator and signed by the Holder or other person then entitled to exercise the Option or such portion of the Option; and
10.2.4. In the event that the Option shall be exercised pursuant to Section 10(f) hereof by any person or persons other than the Holder, appropriate proof of the right of such person or persons to exercise the Option.
10.3. Conditions to Delivery of Share Certificates. The Company shall not be required to issue or deliver any certificate or certificates for Shares purchased upon the exercise of any Option or portion thereof prior to fulfillment of all of the following conditions:
10.3.1. The admission of such Shares to listing on all stock exchanges on which such class of stock is then listed;
10.3.2. The completion of any registration or other qualification of such Shares under any state or federal law, or under the rulings or regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission or any other governmental regulatory body which the Administrator shall, in its sole discretion, deem necessary or advisable;
10.3.3. The obtaining of any approval or other clearance from any state or federal governmental agency which the Administrator shall, in its sole discretion, determine to be necessary or advisable;
10.3.4. The lapse of such reasonable period of time following the exercise of the Option as the Administrator may establish from time to time for reasons of administrative convenience; and
10.3.5. The receipt by the Company of full payment for such Shares, including payment of any applicable withholding tax, which in the sole discretion of the Administrator may be in the form of consideration used by the Holder to pay for such Shares under Section 9(b) hereof.
10.4. Rights as Holder of Capital Stock. Until the issuance of the Shares (as evidenced by the appropriate entry on the books of the Company or of a duly authorized transfer agent of the Company), no right to vote or receive dividends or any other rights as a holder of capital stock shall exist with respect to the Optioned Stock, notwithstanding the exercise of the Option. No adjustment will be made for a dividend or other right for which the record date is prior to the date the stock certificate is issued, except as provided in Section 13 below.
10.5. Termination of Relationship as a Service Provider. If a Holder ceases to be a Service Provider other than by reason of the Holder’s Disability or death, such Holder may exercise his or her Option within such period of time as is specified in the Option Agreement to the extent that the Option is vested on the date of termination; provided, however, that, prior to the Public Trading Date, to the extent required by Applicable Law, such period of time shall not be less than thirty (30) days (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of the Option as set forth in the Option Agreement). In the absence of a specified time in the Option Agreement, the Option shall remain exercisable for three (3) months following the Holder’s termination. If, on the date of termination, the Holder is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option immediately cease to be issuable under the Option and shall again become available for issuance under the Plan. If, after termination, the Holder does not exercise his or her Option within the time period specified, herein, the Option shall terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option shall again become available for issuance under the Plan.
10.6. Disability of Holder. If a Holder ceases to be a Service Provider as a result of the Holder’s Disability, the Holder may exercise his or her Option within such period of time as is specified in the Option Agreement to the extent the Option is vested on the date of termination; provided, however, that prior to the Public Trading Date, to the extent required by Applicable Law, such period of time shall not be less than six (6) months (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Option Agreement). In the absence of a specified time in the Option Agreement, the Option shall remain exercisable for twelve (12) months following the Holder’s termination. If, on the date of termination, the Holder is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option shall immediately cease to be issuable under the Option and shall again become available for issuance under the Plan. If, after termination, the Holder does not exercise his or her Option within the time specified, herein, the Option shall terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option shall again become available for issuance under the Plan.
10.7. Death of Holder. If a Holder dies while a Service Provider, the Option may be exercised within such period of time as is specified in the Option Agreement; provided, however, that prior to the Public Trading Date, to the extent required by Applicable Law, such period of time shall not be less than six (6) months (but in no event later than the expiration of the term of such Option as set forth in the Option Agreement), by the Holder’s estate or by a person who acquires the right to exercise the Option by bequest or inheritance, but only to the extent that the Option is vested on the date of death. In the absence of a specified time in the Option Agreement, the Option shall remain exercisable for twelve (12) months following the Holder’s termination. If, at the time of death, the Holder is not vested as to his or her entire Option, the Shares covered by the unvested portion of the Option shall immediately cease to be issuable under the Option and shall again become available for issuance under the Plan. The Option may be exercised by the executor or administrator of the Holder’s estate or, if none, by the person(s) entitled to exercise the Option under the Holder’s will or the laws of descent or distribution. If the Option is not so exercised within the time specified, herein, the Option shall terminate, and the Shares covered by such Option shall again become available for issuance under the Plan.
10.8. Regulatory Extension. A Holder’s Option Agreement may provide that if the exercise of the Option following the termination of the Holder’s status as a Service Provider would be prohibited at any time solely because the issuance of shares would violate the registration requirements under the Securities Act, then the Option shall terminate on the earlier of (i) the expiration of the term of the Option set forth hereof or (ii) the expiration of a period of three (3) months after the termination of the Holder’s status as a Service Provider during which the exercise of the Option would not be in violation of such registration requirements.
10.9. Early Exercisability. The Administrator may provide in the terms of a Holder’s Option Agreement that the Holder may, at any time before the Holder’s status as a Service Provider terminates, exercise the Option in whole or in part prior to the full vesting of the Option; provided, however, that subject to Plan Shares acquired upon exercise of an Option which has not fully vested may be subject to any forfeiture, transfer or other restrictions as the Administrator may determine in its sole discretion.
10.10. Buyout Provisions. The Administrator may at any time offer to buyout for a payment in cash or Shares, an Option previously granted, based on such terms and conditions as the Administrator shall establish and communicate to the Holder at the time that such offer is made.
11. NonTransferability of Options and Restricted Stock. Awards may not be sold, pledged, assigned, hypothecated, transferred, or disposed of in any manner other than by will or by the laws of descent or distribution and may be exercised, during the lifetime of the Holder, only by the Holder.
12. Restricted Stock
12.1. Rights to Purchase. Restricted Stock may be issued either alone, in addition to, or in tandem with Options granted under the Plan and/or cash awards made outside of the Plan. After the Administrator determines that it will offer Restricted Stock under the Plan, it shall advise the offeree in writing of the terms, conditions and restrictions related to the offer, including the number of Shares that such person shall be entitled to purchase, the price to be paid, and the time within which such person must accept such offer. The offer shall be accepted by execution of a Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement in the form determined by the Administrator.
12.2. Repurchase Right. Unless the Administrator determines otherwise, the Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement shall grant the Company the right to repurchase Shares acquired upon exercise of a Stock Purchase Right upon the termination of the purchaser’s status as a Service Provider for any reason. Subject to Section 19 hereof, the purchase price for Shares repurchased by the Company pursuant to such repurchase right and the rate at which such repurchase right shall lapse shall be determined by the Administrator in its sole discretion, and shall be set forth in the Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement.
12.3. Other Provisions. The Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement shall contain such other terms, provisions and conditions not inconsistent with the Plan as may be determined by the Administrator in its sole discretion.
12.4. Rights as a Stockholder. Once the Restricted Stock is exercised, the purchaser shall have rights equivalent to those of a stockholder and shall be a stockholder when his or her purchase is entered upon the records of the duly authorized transfer agent of the Company. No adjustment shall be made for a dividend or other right for which the record date is prior to the date the Stock Purchase Right is exercised, except as provided in Section 13 hereof.
13. Adjustments upon Changes in Capitalization, Merger or Asset Sale
13.1. Changes in Capitalization. Subject to any action required under Applicable Laws by the holders of capital stock of the Company, (i) the numbers and class of Shares or other stock or securities: (x) available for future Awards under Section 3 above covered by each outstanding Award, (ii) the price per Share covered by each such outstanding Option, and (iii) any repurchase price per Share applicable to Shares issued pursuant to any Award, shall be proportionately adjusted by the Administrator in the event of a stock split, reverse stock split, stock dividend, combination, consolidation, recapitalization (including a recapitalization through a large nonrecurring cash dividend) or reclassification of the Shares, subdivision of the Shares, a rights offering, a reorganization, merger, spin-off, split-up, change in corporate structure or other similar occurrence. Any adjustment by the Administrator pursuant to this Section shall be made in the Administrator’s sole and absolute discretion and shall be final, binding and conclusive. Except as expressly provided herein, no issuance by the Company of shares of stock of any class, or securities convertible into shares of stock of any class, shall affect, and no adjustment by reason thereof shall be made with respect to, the number or price of Shares subject to an Award. If, by reason of a transaction described in this Section or an adjustment pursuant to this Section, a Participant’s Award agreement or agreement related to any Optioned Stock or Restricted Stock covers additional or different shares of stock or securities, then such additional or different shares, and the Award agreement or agreement related to the Optioned Stock or Restricted Stock in respect thereof, shall be subject to all of the terms, conditions and restrictions which were applicable to the Award, Optioned Stock and Restricted Stock prior to such adjustment.
13.2. Dissolution or Liquidation. In the event of the dissolution or liquidation of the Company, each Award will terminate immediately prior to the consummation of such action, unless otherwise determined by the Administrator.
13.3. Corporate Transactions
13.3.1. Options Treatment. In the event of a sale of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets, or a merger, consolidation or other capital reorganization or business combination transaction of the Company with or into another corporation, entity or person (a “Corporate Transaction”), each outstanding Option shall either be (i) assumed or an equivalent option or right shall be substituted by such successor corporation or a parent or subsidiary of such successor corporation (the “Successor Corporation”), or (ii) terminated in exchange for a payment of cash, securities and/or other property equal to the excess of the Fair Market Value of the portion of the Optioned Stock that is vested and exercisable immediately prior to the consummation of the Corporate Transaction over the per Share exercise price thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event such Successor Corporation does not agree to such assumption, substitution or exchange, each such Option shall terminate upon the consummation of the Corporate Transaction.
13.3.2. Acceleration Upon Acquisition. If the Company undergoes an Acquisition, then any surviving corporation or entity or acquiring corporation or entity, or affiliate of such corporation or entity, may assume any Awards outstanding under the Plan or may substitute similar stock awards (including an award to acquire the same consideration paid to the stockholders in the transaction) for those outstanding under the Plan. In the event any surviving corporation or entity or acquiring corporation or entity in an Acquisition, or affiliate of such corporation or entity, does not assume such Awards or does not substitute similar stock awards for those outstanding under the Plan, then with respect to (i) Awards held by participants in the Plan whose status as a Service Provider has not terminated prior to such event, the vesting of such Awards (and, if applicable, the time during which such awards may be exercised) shall be accelerated and made fully exercisable and all restrictions thereon shall lapse at least ten (10) days prior to the closing of the Acquisition (and the Awards terminated if not exercised prior to the closing of such Acquisition) and (ii) any other Awards outstanding under the Plan, such Awards shall be terminated if not exercised prior to the closing of the Acquisition.
14. Time of Granting Awards. The date of grant of an Awards shall, for all purposes, be the date on which the Administrator makes the determination granting such Awards, or such other date as is determined by the Administrator consistent with applicable legal requirements. Notice of the determination shall be given to each Service Provider to whom an Awards is so granted within a reasonable time after the date of such grant.
15. Amendment and Termination of the Plan
15.1. Amendment and Termination. Subject to the requirements of subsection (c), the Board may at any time wholly or partially amend, alter, suspend or terminate the Plan. However, without approval of the Company’s stockholders given within twelve (12) months before or after the action by the Board, no action of the Board may, except as provided in Section 13 hereof, increase the limits imposed in Section 3 hereof on the maximum number of Shares which may be issued under the Plan or extend the term of the Plan under Section 7 hereof.
15.2. Stockholder Approval. The Board shall obtain stockholder approval of any Plan amendment to the extent necessary and desirable to comply with Applicable Laws.
15.3. Effect of Amendment or Termination. No amendment, alteration, suspension or termination of the Plan or any Awards shall impair the rights of any Holder, unless mutually agreed otherwise between the Holder and the Administrator, which agreement must be in writing and signed by the Holder and the Company. Termination of the Plan shall not affect the Administrator’s ability to exercise the powers granted to it hereunder with respect to Options, or Restricted Stock granted or awarded under the Plan prior to the date of such termination.
16. Stockholder Approval. The Plan will be submitted for the approval of the Company’s stockholders within twelve (12) months after the date of the Board’s initial adoption of the Plan. Awards may be granted prior to such stockholder approval, provided that such Award shall not be exercisable, shall not vest and the restrictions thereon shall not lapse prior to the time when the Plan is approved by the stockholders, and provided further that if such approval has not been obtained at the end of said twelvemonth period, all Awards previously granted under the Plan shall thereupon be canceled and become null and void.
17. Inability to Obtain Authority. The inability of the Company to obtain authority from any regulatory body having jurisdiction, which authority is deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any Shares hereunder, shall relieve the Company of any liability in respect of the failure to issue or sell such Shares as to which such requisite authority shall not have been obtained.
18. Reservation of Shares. The Company, during the term of the Plan, shall at all times reserve and keep available such number of Shares as shall be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Plan.
19. Repurchase Provisions. The Administrator in its sole discretion may provide that the Company may repurchase Shares acquired upon exercise of an Awards upon the occurrence of certain specified events, including, without limitation, a Holder’s termination as a Service Provider, divorce, bankruptcy or insolvency; provided, however, that any such repurchase right shall be set forth in the applicable Option Agreement or Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement or in another agreement referred to in such agreement.
20. Rules Particular To Specific Countries
20.1. Generally. To the extent required by the Company, each Holder agrees that he or she shall enter into an election with the Company or a Subsidiary (in a form approved by the Company) under which any Tax Liability (as defined below) including, but not limited to, National Insurance Contributions (“NICs”) and any Fringe Benefit Tax (“FBT”), is transferred to and met by the Plan participant. For purposes of this Section 20, Tax Liability shall mean any and all liability under non-U.S. applicable laws, rules or regulations, from any income tax, the Company’s (or a Subsidiary’s) NICs, FBT or similar liability and the Service Provider’s NICs, FBT or similar non- U.S. law liability that are attributable to: (A) the grant, vesting or exercise of, or any other benefit derived by the Plan participant from an Option, Stock Purchase Right or Restricted Stock; (B) the acquisition by the Plan participant of the Shares on exercise of an Option or the acquisition by the Plan participant of the Shares pursuant to a Stock Purchase Right; or (C) the disposal of any Shares acquired by the Plan participant pursuant to an Option or a Stock Purchase Right granted under the Plan.
20.2. Addendum. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the terms and conditions of the Plan with respect to Service Providers who are tax residents of a particular country other than the United States may be subject to an addendum to the Plan in the form of an Appendix. To the extent that the terms and conditions set forth in an Appendix conflict with any provisions of the Plan, the provisions of the Appendix shall govern. The adoption of any such Appendix shall be pursuant to Section 15 above.
21. Conditions To Exercise. The Company may require a Plan participant, as a condition of exercising or acquiring stock under any Awards, (i) to give written assurances satisfactory to the Company as to the participant’s knowledge and experience in financial and business matters and/or to employ a purchaser representative reasonably satisfactory to the Company who is knowledgeable and experienced in financial and business matters and that he or she is capable of evaluating, alone or together with the purchaser representative, the merits and risks of exercising the Awards; and (ii) to give written assurances satisfactory to the Company stating that the participant is acquiring the stock subject to the Awards for the participant’s own account and not with any present intention of selling or otherwise distributing the stock. The foregoing requirements, and any assurances given pursuant to such requirements, shall be inoperative if (A) the issuance of the shares upon the exercise or acquisition of stock under the applicable Awards has been registered under a then currently effective registration statement under the Securities Act or (B) as to any particular requirement, a determination is made by counsel for the Company that such requirement need not be met in the circumstances under then applicable securities laws. The Company may, upon advice of counsel to the Company, place legends on stock certificates issued under the Plan as such counsel deems necessary or appropriate in order to comply with applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to, legends restricting the transfer of the stock.
22. Governing Law. The validity and enforceability of the Plan shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to otherwise governing principles of conflicts of law.
Any [GREEN] highlighted language is intended to be filled in by the user. Any [YELLOW] highlighted language is considered optional or conditional by the attorney community. Consult with an attorney before using this document. This document is not a substitute for legal advice or services. Refer to our Terms of Service for more details.
This form has been prepared for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, advertising, a solicitation, or tax advice. Transmission of this form and the information contained herein is not intended to create, and receipt thereof does not constitute formation of, an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon this document or information for any purpose without seeking legal advice from an appropriately licensed attorney, including without limitation to review and provide advice on the terms of this form, the appropriate approvals required in connection with the transactions contemplated by this form, and any securities law and other legal issues contemplated by this form or the transactions contemplated by this form.
Hire the top 5% of business lawyers and save up to 60% on legal fees
- Atlanta Employment Lawyers
- Austin Employment Lawyers
- Boston Employment Lawyers
- Chicago Employment Lawyers
- Dallas Employment Lawyers
- Houston Employment Lawyers
- Los Angeles Employment Lawyers
- New York Employment Lawyers
- Philadelphia Employment Lawyers
- San Francisco Employment Lawyers
- Seattle Employment Lawyers
- Charlotte Employment Lawyers
- Denver Employment Lawyers
- Jacksonville Employment Lawyers
- Las Vegas Employment Lawyers
- Phoenix Employment Lawyers
- Portland Employment Lawyers
- San Antonio Employment Lawyers
- San Diego Employment Lawyers
- San Jose Employment Lawyers
- View All Employment Lawyers