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In most startup companies, founders are issued shares of common stock of a newly formed corporation. Founders will pay for these shares with a nominal amount of cash, or a contribution of intellectual property, or both. For Delaware corporations, it is advisable to pay cash for at least the par value of the shares being purchased. Common stock is the same type of stock that is typically issued to employees and other service providers. Founders usually maintain stockholder voting control over the company as a result of their large equity ownership in relation to other holders. Founders should subject their own shares to vesting. Founders may also include vesting acceleration provisions for their shares.

In some cases, founders may opt to implement more complicated types of stock for themselves, such as supervoting stock or Series FF or founders preferred stock. Certain founders may find these types of equity to be reasonable for their circumstances and experience; however, more complicated structures may entail higher costs upfront to implement and over time to maintain, among other benefits and drawbacks.

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