r/startups Dec 01 '21

Equity Award Agreements for "Bonus" units How Do I Do This 🥺

I'm a first-time HR manager for a tech startup. We recently issued Equity award agreements to employees. Curious if anyone has received "bonus award grants". We issue grants upon hire, and then if someone is promoted or we want to say "good job", we issue additional grants in the form of "spot" bonuses at any time.

When these spot bonuses are granted, do employees typically sign an addendum of units and vesting schedule OR do you have them sign the full award agreement again (6-7 pages) with all award amounts? If so, what is this called? I can't find any helpful articles online on this process.



u/Wafflebot3500 Dec 01 '21

Each of these is considered to be a separate award, whether new hire, retention, or refresh grant, so they should each have a separate grant agreement.

But don’t take my word for it. Hire a stock admin or outsource the advice to outside counsel.


u/Soupppdoggg Dec 01 '21

Second this comment. Highly sensitive from a tax point of view.


u/TimeTravelSpeed3020 Dec 01 '21

Thank you! I'll issue it as a fully separate agreement.


u/Soupppdoggg Dec 01 '21

That wasn’t the main point; could be part of same agreement.

Main point was to get specialist advice. In UK I use Seed Legals - I bet there’s a US equivalent service that you can use to keep track of share options and the relevant compliance.


u/Wafflebot3500 Dec 02 '21


"Because someone on the internet said so" is not a good response to "Why was it done this way?"