Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS)

What’s new

Companies using Carta for 409A will now be additionally assessed for qualified small business eligibility at no extra cost to the company.

Certificates issued by a qualified small business as determined by Carta will have a "QSBS" tag in the product to indicate that the shares represent Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS). The goal of these tags is help stakeholders make more informed selling decisions.

The IRC’s definition of a qualified small business is restrictive yet vague and open for interpretation at the edges, so potential holders of QSBS should consult their tax advisor before making decisions to sell and claiming the QSBS tax benefit.

How it works

Based on company-provided information during the valuations process, Carta will assess the following criteria for qualified small business eligibility:

  • Company's gross assets are $50M USD or less
  • Company is an active business
  • Company is a C-corp
  • Company does not operate in excluded industries

If a company is identified as a qualified small business, a new badge will appear in the 409A dashboard:

If a stakeholder receives a certificate from a qualified small business but hasn't yet met the 5 year holding period for QSBS, they'll see a "QSBS eligible" tag in their portfolio:

Drilling into the security, the stakeholder will see some additional information about the QSBS status of the certificate:

Stakeholders who have held shares issued by a qualified small business for 5 years will see a "QSBS" tag in their portfolio instead:

Additional Resources

For detailed information about QSBS in Carta, please refer to our QSBS support article.

Who this affects

Companies using Carta for 409A and their stakeholders.

Timing

  • Available now to 50 randomly selected 409A customers
  • General availability for all 409A customers coming in two weeks

New Shareholder Experience Page

We are making it easier for companies to keep employees, investors, and other stakeholders informed about their holdings and company changes. 

Companies have historically been able to grant viewing permissions to their stakeholders via our Cap Table Sharing page and features. This experience, however, was burdensome for many company administrators who found themselves having to change sharing settings as new stakeholders were added to their cap table or existing stakeholders changed their relationship to the company, such as an employee leaving the company or an investor exiting their position.

With our new Shareholder Experience page, company administrators can designate what type of information they want to share with their different stakeholders and set rules based on these preferences. By setting permissions by rules instead of a stakeholder-by-stakeholder process, we make it easier for company administrators to get the right stakeholders the appropriate information and reflect their information sharing philosophy.

Companies can choose to enable a specific shareholder experience based on the relationship of the stakeholder to the company. For example, companies can choose what information founders, investors, employees, and former employees, and other stakeholders access on Carta. We’ve renamed, updated, and simplified our access levels to Restricted, Basic, Advanced, and Full Details. We include a “Recommended” level for different relationships (e.g. Investors = Advanced) to help guide founders and other company administrators on setting up their Shareholder Experience based on user feedback. 

We’ve also added a new rule where former stakeholders--those who no longer have an active investment or holding in the company--will automatically be downgraded to Restricted automatically. This means that as stakeholders enter and exit the cap table, their respective shareholder experience will update automatically.

New Shareholder Experience page: Group levels

We know that sometimes it’s important for company administrators to create experiences specific to a single stakeholder or user. The new Shareholder Experience feature allows companies to set overrides for specific stakeholders in the “Individual levels” tab. We also provide information on that stakeholder’s relationship and holdings information.

New Shareholder Experience page: Individual levels



To help ensure company administrators set access levels that best fit the needs of their stakeholders, our access level guide is clickable from either the Group Level or Individual Level views of the new Shareholder Experience.

Access level guide

We appreciate our users’ feedback on how to make this page clearer and easier to use. We hope these improvements save company administrators valuable time and help them mirror their company information sharing philosophy in our software.

Who is this available for?

The cap table sharing page is available currently via a limited release to select Carta companies. In the coming weeks, we will begin to allow additional companies to migrate to the new Shareholder Experience feature set. This new product is not limited by subscription tier.

Companies with the new Shareholder Experience features enabled can visit Stakeholders > Shareholder Experience. 

If you’d like to enable the new Shareholder Experience page for your company, you can also contact us.

Carta Total Comp Updates: Scorecard Export, Next Twelve Months Vesting and More

Check out the exciting new updates we’ve made to Bands, Scorecard and Admin pages 

Next Twelve Months (NTM) Equity Ratio

Equity Ratio is now being calculated using Next Twelve Months (NTM) equity rather than Total Equity granted to the employee. The new formula for Equity Ratio is as follows: 

An employee’s next twelve months (NTM) equity divided by the target annual equity for a new hire today.

Why did we make this change? 

The Carta Total Comp Scorecard is designed to provide a clear view of the compensation health of your business. In order to build a score that better highlights attrition risk, we’ve changed the calculation for equity ratio to be based on unvested equity that will vest in the next twelve months. 

Employees compensated below market rate are at risk of attrition, as they would be paid more in a new role than if they were to stay in their current position. 

Vested equity does not incentivize employees, because it is already earned, and therefore does not help drive retention; put another way, vested equity is already “in the bank.” Calculating a health score that includes vested equity could lead to overlooking employees who are mostly vested and therefore at risk of going to work elsewhere. 

The additional benefit of NTM is that it allows you to compare equity compensation on the same annualized timeframe as salary. 

Additional Details

While Equity Ratio will be calculated by using NTM going forward, we will continue to show Total Equity on the company and employee Scorecard. 

Scorecard Export

You can now easily download a CSV of the entire scorecard by clicking on the “Export” button. The CSV will contain all of the available columns, regardless of whether they are enabled in the column selector.    

Admin Page

Review and modify employee details from the new Admin Settings page. This page has a complete view of all employees synced from the HRIS and cap table. 

What’s changing?

Navigate to the Admins page from the Carta Total Comp top navigation bar. From there you can access the “Roles and permissions” tab along with the “Employees” tab

New Bands Version

You can now see the date of the most recent Benchmark version in the Plan and Bands page. With the Preview plan feature, you can review the impact that updated benchmarking data has on the Scorecard prior to applying the new Plan. 

Why did we make this change? 

When benchmarking data is current, it better enables you to be competitive in today's market with the offers you take to candidates and employees. 

Job Area Descriptions and Example Job Titles

Our Roles and Levels are now defined in-app. 

Why is this important?

Carta's leveling framework provides a foundation for your company to provide career pathing for employees and to review pay fairness for each job area and level. Without consistent leveling, companies can not accurately compare their employees to market rate data, limiting their ability to effectively hire and retain talent. 

To help our customers ensure accurate and consistent leveling, we are now providing further descriptions for each job area we support, so users can make more informed leveling decisions based on commonly used job titles.

What’s changing?

We have added a “Learn more” link in the "Example title" column in the "Bands" tab. This link will launch a modal where you can see sample job titles and descriptions for roles in each job area. 


Preview and and manage compensation plans

With the new Plans page, you can now craft and manage your compensation plan to meet the needs of a changing workforce. With Plans you can:

  1. Review your active plan or create a new plan.
  2. Edit and preview draft plans.
  3. View your plan history.

Before making modifications to your plan, preview will allow you to see how a change in peer group, band ranges, or location strategy could impact your employees' compensation targets. 


Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Building your compensation plan is easy with Carta Total Comp

Streamline your compensation processes and compensate with confidence on Carta Total Comp. 

Whats new?

Easily build, manage and apply your compensation strategy across your entire employee base taking both geography and custom compensation bands into account. 

To adjust your Plan settings, click on the Details link on the top left of the Scorecard page.


Geo Adjustment

You can now choose either Local or Uniform to choose the right approach for your fully remote, hybrid or in-office working arrangement.

  • Local: When selected, all employees will have their target compensation automatically adjusted to the local cost of labor for their location. You can also set a minimum threshold to ensure that employees' target compensation are not set lower relative to the top metro market rate for their roles. We recommend setting the threshold to 80%.
  • Uniform: Using this option, all employees' target compensation will be adjusted to the market rate for a single location.

Compensation Bands

The compensation bands settings enables you to customize the width of your company's target bands for each track. Defaults are 15% for Individual Contributors (IC), 20% for Managers, and 25% for Executives.


Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Make better compensation decisions faster

Carta Total Comp 

Carta cap table customers can now access our benchmarking and planning platform to streamline their compensation processes and compensate with confidence.

What’s new?

Workflow tools built on top of the world’s largest equity data set and powerful HR integrations to help you make better compensation decisions faster. Carta Total Comp customers are now able to access the following compensation benchmarking and planning features:

  • Automated Leveling - Map each of your employees into an area, track and level using Carta’s universal leveling framework.
  • Scorecard - Summarizes employee salary and equity information from your HRIS and cap table to give a holistic overview of your organization’s total compensation.
  • Bands - Automatically generate equity and salary bands for any role by filtering for job area, track and location.  
  • HRIS Integration -  Integrate instantly with any of the most common HRIS systems.
  • Coming Soon - Plan -  Easily build, manage and apply your compensation strategy across your employee base.

Get a pulse on your org through your company Scorecard tab



Benchmark any role in the Bands tab

Availability

  • If you are interested in learning more about Carta Total Comp, please reach out to your Carta Customer Success Manager or sign up here.
  • You must be a Carta cap table customer to sign up for Carta Total Comp.

Additional Resources 

  • Carta Total Comp announcement from our Chief Product Officer, Heidi Johnson. Link to Blog Post.

Preferred shareholders can request ownership when accepting securities

What's New:

  • Preferred shareholders can now request ownership details (like fully diluted share count or detailed cap table information) when they accept certificates. Previously this request action was available only after the stakeholder's account had been set up and a security accepted. This change helps empower company admins to set the correct respective access levels for investors more effectively. This helps both companies and their investors get the most out of the Carta platform with clearer information sharing workflows.
  • The information management workflow for companies remains the same. Company admins can still select the appropriate level of data sharing access for each stakeholder. For our summary of these levels, we've detailed them here.

Accept screen for preferred shareholders accepting preferred shares:

We will be rolling out these changes during the week of November 2nd. 

Changes to Watermark Styling

We've listened to your feedback on watermark styling obstructing the readability of the documents and we've made a few changes to address those concerns. We'll continue to iterate on our watermarking capabilities and tools in the coming months and we are starting with the following changes.

Here's a sample document with the old watermark styling


Here's the same sample document with the new watermark styling


Specifically, we've made the following changes with this iteration:

  • Reduced opacity of the watermark text
  • Updated alignment between the rows
  • Fewer repetition

Who these changes affect?
All Carta users who choose to apply watermark on their documents. These changes will be rolling out to all users today.

Improvements to our login screen

What’s coming: We've made a few changes to our login screen to help users get access to their Carta account. We want to make sure your first interaction with Carta is clear, simple, and secure.

Who this affects: 

What’s new:

  • Added a new link to help troubleshoot log in issues and contact support.
  • Updated the show password toggle to an icon to simplify the page layout. This is consistent with our designs also on our registration page.


New log in page

Previous log in page


Material event making your 409a stale?

What’s coming: Let your employees know your 409a is out of date and their taxes may be impacted if exercising.

Who this affects: 

  • Users: Equity administrators and option holders
  • Packages: Starter, Growth, Scale, and IPO-Ready will receive this functionality.  Any customer with 409a in their subscription.

What’s better: 

Proactive, in-app communication: When enabling this functionality, all option holders, upon exercising, are shown a disclaimer that the FMV is stale and this could impact their taxes. See the full disclaimer below in “Option Holder view”.

Equity Administrator view:

Option Holder view:

Timing: Rolling out to all 409a customers on September 30th.

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