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Capitalization Table for Startups

A cap table for a startup documents each owner in your company, those who own equity and others who have the ability to own equity. BrownWinick’s Joe Leo, based in Greater Des Moines (DSM), explains tips for compiling a capitalization table for your startup.

Cap Table Tips

  • Keep it simple. For an early-stage startup, the cap table is essential. This document shows who owns what and what percentage of shares each person owns. Shareholders may include the founders themselves, as well as investors and employees.
  • Tailor it to the corporate structure. All cap table documentation should be organized appropriately.
  • Hire a good attorney. In the long run, this will cost you less money. You don’t want to hire someone who is not experienced in this type of law or you will end up spending time training them.

Capitalization Table Examples

See Joe’s example of a capitalization table here.

A Certificate Register Spreadsheet can also help organize ownership by numbering ownership interests and keep track of the date ownership was issued, the number of units/share issue and notes on any cancellation/transfer of certificates. This is also where you can track any convertible debt, or loans from an investor.

The Raising Capital Seminar is an annual event in DSM that helps small businesses and startups grow and secure funding. Hear from founders and angel investors and learn how to take your business to the next level. To find more information on when the next annual Raising Capital Seminar takes place, as well as view past event videos visit the Raising Capital Seminar page.