How to Split Equity Among Co-Founders

When I search the web on this topic I often see horrible advice, typically advocating for significant inequality among different founding team members. We see this trend reflected in the thousands of applications we review at Y Combinator every year.

Here are some of the most often cited reasons for unequal equity splits:

  • I came up with the idea for the company
  • I started working n months before my co-founder
  • This is what we agreed to
  • My co-founder took a salary for n months and I didn’t
  • I started working full time n months before my co-founder
  • I am older/more experienced than my co-founder
  • I brought on my co-founder after raising n thousands of dollars
  • I brought on my co-founder after launching my MVP
  • We need someone to tie-break in the case of founder arguments

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