Articles Tagged with cap table

AdobeStock_89081213-300x200You had the idea but not the finances, so you approached a venture capitalist. She invested $100,000 in exchange for a 25% equity stake in your new corporation. You were still the majority shareholder, so her equity share never affected day-to-day operations. As your company began to grow, you partnered with like-minded individuals, merged corporations, incorporated new ideas, and continued to sell equity to fund your ventures. Your cap table gets more complex each year, and one day you realize you’re no longer the majority shareholder. In fact, your partners are working with the 25% stakeholder to squeeze you out.

Founder fights commonly occur as companies grow. The more successful your corporation, the more people want a piece of it. Founder breakups are the most common reason start-up companies fail and should be addressed early by an experienced business litigation attorney at Structure Law Group, LLP.

Most Common Reason for Founder Breakups 

AdobeStock_197945004-300x178California stock corporations are owned by their shareholders who then elect directors.  Directors, in turn, elect officers who handle a corporation’s day-to-day management. Accordingly, shareholders hold influential positions in a corporation through their voting power.

California requires corporations issuing more than one class of shares to designate the classes and/or series of stock in its articles of incorporation. A stock corporation’s capitalization, or “cap,” table is a type of ledger that designates shareholders’ percentage ownership and equity value.

Most early shareholders know the equity value of their ownership, but as companies add investors, assets, and shareholders, the shareholder ownership structure can shift. This may result in a dilution of shares, changing the structure of shareholder ownership. These changes can lead marginalized minority shareholders to file major shareholder litigation disputing changes to the corporate ownership structure.  While dilution may not affect the financial value of shares, it can have a drastic impact on voting rights and ownership structure.

Contact Information