Including the Right Terms in Your Stock Option Agreement: Why a Toronto Startup Lawyer Can Help

If you’re a startup founder in Toronto, you may be considering offering stock options to your employees as a way to incentivize and retain them. But what exactly should you include in your stock option agreement? And should you hire a Toronto startup lawyer for this? In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to include in your stock option agreement and why it’s crucial to use a Toronto startup lawyer for this.

What to Include in Your Stock Option Agreement?

A stock option agreement is a legal contract between the company and the employee that grants the employee the right to purchase a specific number of shares at a predetermined price. The agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the employee’s option grant, including the vesting schedule, exercise price, expiration date, and any restrictions on the transfer of the shares.

Here are some key terms to include in your stock option agreement:

  1. Vesting Schedule: The vesting schedule outlines the timeline for when the employee can exercise their options. This can be based on time (e.g. the options vest over a four-year period) or on specific milestones (e.g. the options vest once the company reaches a certain revenue target).
  2. Exercise Price: The exercise price is the price that the employee must pay to purchase the shares. This price is typically set at the fair market value of the shares at the time of grant.
  3. Expiration Date: The expiration date is the date by which the employee must exercise their options. If they don’t exercise their options by this date, the options expire and they lose their right to purchase the shares.
  4. Transfer Restrictions: It’s common for stock option agreements to include restrictions on the transfer of the shares. This can help ensure that the shares remain with the company or its employees.

Why is it Important to Use a Toronto Startup Lawyer for This?

Using a Toronto startup lawyer is crucial when it comes to creating stock option agreements for your startup. A Toronto startup lawyer can provide legal advice and guidance on the terms and conditions of the agreement, ensuring that they comply with Ontario laws and regulations. They can also help you negotiate the terms of the agreement with your employees, protecting your interests while still incentivizing your employees.

Additionally, a Toronto startup lawyer can help you avoid costly legal mistakes and disputes down the line. They can assist you with drafting clear and concise agreements, avoiding any ambiguity or confusion that could lead to legal disputes.


Including the right terms in your stock option agreement is crucial for startups in Toronto. By using a Toronto startup lawyer, you can ensure that your agreements are legally sound, compliant with Ontario laws and regulations, and protect your interests. Don’t take any chances with your startup’s stock option program – hire a Toronto startup lawyer today. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 1-877-892-7778.

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