How Much Equity Should a Business Give Away?

Having equity in a business gives you the incentive to see it prosper and grow. But giving away too much equity can harm your business, so it’s important to carefully consider how much equity should you give up to ensure your business remains profitable and stable.

The amount of equity you should give away depends on your business objectives, the size of the investment, and the amount of risk involved. Generally speaking, the investor should receive a larger equity portion if they make a larger investment. Likewise, the more risk an investor takes, the greater their share of equity should be.

How to value startup equity

Due to the nature of startups and the associated risks, it can be difficult to value startup equity with any degree of accuracy. A few factors play a role in the valuation process of a startup, such as revenue projections, competitive landscape, existing market traction, etc. As the business matures, it will become easier to assign a value to the equity, but it remains largely subjective in the early stages of a startup’s life.

To determine the value of equity, decide what percentage you will give to investors. This is typically between 10-25%, but it depends on the size of the investment and how much risk the investor takes.

You may also consider issuing equity options to employees, which allows them to purchase equity at a later date. This is an effective way for startups to attract and retain talent, but how much you give out should depend on how long they’ve been with the company.

What are the alternatives to equity?

Equity isn’t the only way to attract investment into your business. In some cases, debt finance or convertible loans can be used to raise money without giving away equity. This can often be a better option for companies that are just starting or don’t want to give up too much control of their business. Many venture capitalists now offer convertible loans, designed to convert into equity when certain milestones have been reached.


When deciding how much equity to give away, it’s essential to consider how much value your business can generate for investors. How you structure the equity depends on how much risk you’re willing to take, how close the investors are to your business, and how confident you are that your company will be successful. Giving away too much equity may render you powerless, but not giving away enough equity may result in investors passing on your business. Carefully consider how much equity to give away to ensure you get the best deal for your business.…