Cake Equity | Stock options for foreign employees

Motivating your remote employees around the world is easy with Cake

Remote work is here for good. Ensure your team is aligned, motivated and rewarded appropriately through equity. Cake offers a digital platform with built in localised agreements. We've done all the heavy lifting allowing you to issue equity fast, while saving thousands of dollars.
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Startups motivating their international employees with equity on Cake

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Cake provides the best equity solution for global startups in 50 countries

Give ownership to your global team with a single dashboard
Country regionalised offer letters no matter where your employees are based
Setup global equity plans compliantly
Issue options instantly
Initial and ongoing valuations including 409A
Automated vesting schedules
Easy access for employees
Status updates through the cake platform
Priority customer success support

Learn more about equity as a motivation tool

Cake Cofounder Jase recently caught up with a bunch of thought leaders on the future of remote work, and how startups can expand, hire and scale globally.

Frequently asked questions

Why can’t I just send an offer based on my existing Plan Rules and Offer Letter?

Whenever you make an option offer to a team member in another country the options will be treated under and subject to local laws (including tax rules) of the country in which the recipient is located.

For example, you may have an Australian company and an option plan based on the Australian legal rules, but if you make an offer to an employee in the USA under that Australian Plan (without making the required changes), it is unlikely that the offer will be compliant under American laws.

It may also mean that the American recipient does not gain any tax benefits from the offer - often, it will mean they gain a tax liability! Another risk is that, by not providing the minimum mandatory information to that employee, the company issuing the offer may be in breach of local laws.

Some companies take the approach of ‘we will make you an offer under our local plan, and you have to work out the tax and validity of the offer in your own country yourself.’ While this approach may work for some, it diminishes the incentivisation and level of comfort that a well established and thought out option plan provides, and also includes the risks mentioned above.

Cake’s new Global package allows employees to receive industry standard offers that really mean a lot to them - why give equity away if the employee doesn’t value it?

How does Cake handle the different laws across the countries?

Cake has worked closely with its startup-focused legal partners around the world to create a flow that allows the standard local rules to be combined with existing option plans. This allows a company to make compliant offers to recipients overseas. Chat to us to learn more!

Will Cake provide country specific Offer Letters?

Yes - when you make an offer to a team member in another country, the platform will use a customised flow so that a country-specific Offer Letter can be created for that recipients’ country.

For example, if you are making an offer to a team member in the USA, the platform will use the US flow so that details like the type of option, and the required disclosure statements, are provided.

Do I need an existing ESOP to make global offers?

Yes, but if you don’t have one, you can create one in just a few clicks on Cake!

For example, if you’re an Australian company without an ESOP, and you want to make an offer to US recipients, you can quickly create your Australian ‘base’ ESOP on Cake. Then, simply add on the US-specific customisation so that you can make the US offer in a matter of weeks, not months!

How does the international tax work for offers made overseas?

The differing tax treatment on option offers across borders is part of what used to make it so tricky! Luckily, Cake has clarified a lot of this information. We also have local tax and legal experts on hand, ready to help you out with any of these questions.

What if I need legal or accounting advice?

Not all lawyers and accountants understand startup options - in fact, only a few really get it!

Trying to find a great advisor in another country can be a nightmare. Even if you end up finding one, you’ll often be left blowing in the wind, with the end result being you are still not able to send out the offer because there is still a bunch more to do!

For this reason, Cake has partnered with local tax and legal experts in each country so that if you have any questions, or if you want to make any changes to your documents, they can jump in and help out right away. Our partners are startup focused and really understand the needs of a startup to make global option plans work, without adding the extra admin and headaches.

Who drafted the Cake templates?

Our option plan templates were drafted by our startup focused legal partners in each country.

Not all advisors understand startup options, and we only partner with those that are experts.

The templates are designed to suit the majority of startups and their existing plans, however if they don’t suit your needs, or you want to check or change anything, our partners are ready to help out.

What if we need a country specific valuation for the offer?

Cake will organise the required option plan valuations through its extensive valuation provider network.

For example, if you need a 409A valuation, Cake can have that organised and ready through your subscription.

What about ‘disclosure requirements’ in overseas locations?

Disclosure can be a tricky concept, and it varies around the world. Most jurisdictions have ‘exemptions to disclosure’ to allow the offering of options to your team. If you want to check how the disclosure requirements for your options are treated, our local legal partners will be ready to assist.

Can I make multiple offers?

Once you’ve set up the new global pool on your Cake account, you can continue to make multiple offers to new team members yourself in just a few clicks.

The Cake dashboard will guide you through each step and our Customer Success team will be online for any questions along the way.

What specific type of option schemes are Cake’s templates based on?

The Cake templates are based on the most common types of schemes used in each country.

For example, in Australia, the majority of startups offer options under the ‘Startup Tax Concession’ so the templates are drafted to comply with those specific rules. In the UK, the scheme is drafted specifically for an ‘EMI’ offer, as this is the most beneficial for the employee. If you have any questions regarding how these schemes may apply to your company, our legal partners will be ready to help.

What if the employee says they need changes to the offer wording?

If you need to make any changes to the offer wording, you can either:

Do it yourself through our fully customisable ‘Contract Engine’; or,

Get our local legal partners to help you out, and then send the documents out for signing and put them to work (with auto-vesting) through Cake.

Do I need to set up an entity in the country of the employee or contractor to send the offer?

Usually no, but lots of startups handle this differently. A growing number of startups use an Employee Of Record (EOR) provider to handle all of the employment, payroll and tax for their international employees. This is often the quickest and easiest way to employ an overseas team member, so if you want an introduction to a great EOR provider, just let us know!

Some startups will incorporate a local entity in the employee’s country, and hire them directly with the assistance of local payroll providers. This is more common if the company is planning on hiring a larger team in that location.

For others, it will purely be a contractor arrangement, where the contractor may just be getting equity for their services, so all that is needed is an option offer (and perhaps a Contractor Agreement, depending on how it’s structured).

How does Cake Global work if my company uses an EOR/PEO service provider?

Our legal templates and process flows are designed to work for the most commonly used tax advantaged option schemes. Depending on the country, certain tax regimes have been designed by governments to allow options, amongst other equity derivatives, to be optimised for tax purposes. Generally, so long as your company and your employees (the option recipients) meet certain requirements, these schemes can benefit your employees when it comes to sharing a piece of the upside in your company’s growth. However, to receive the benefits from these tax-advantaged schemes, certain countries require there to be a direct relationship between the employer and employee. Depending on which countries you choose as part of your package, we will help guide you through these complexities.

Manage your global equity in one place

We’re currently in 50 countries and adding new countries all the time