RSU Settlement for Private Companies

What's new?

Carta now helps private company administrators coordinate the settlement of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). The end-to-end offering allows an Issuer to:

  • configure and schedule a RSU Settlement;
  • provide RSU holders with an election period to identify how they want to pay the tax withholding obligation associated with the upcoming settlement;
  • collect any cash payments from RSU holders; and
  • automatically update the cap table at settlement.

During the election period, RSU holders are invited to access a workflow to view their vested RSUs along with the tax withholding amounts due at settlement. They have the flexibility to meet their tax obligation by electing to net-settle, pay the full amount in cash, or use a combination of surrendered shares and cash. 

This offering helps facilitate the RSU settlement process from setup to share delivery for private Issuers that award RSUs under their equity compensation plans.

How does it work?

Issuers

Private company administrators can go through a four-step process to configure an upcoming RSU Settlement with Carta Liquidity. Issuers can:

  • set the parameters of the settlement (e.g., FMV, election timing, settlement date); 
  • view and confirm the RSUs that will be included based on the vesting end date (i.e., record date); and 
  • view and confirm tax withholding amounts associated with the settlement. 

Issuers can set rates to use when calculating tax withholdings owed based on each RSU holder’s tax jurisdiction(s). Carta Liquidity’s integration with Carta’s equity management platform and tax engine eliminates the need for the administrator to pull and sort cap table information manually or calculate tax withholdings for each RSU holder. Alternatively, Issuer’s can provide tax withholding amounts calculated by their HRIS provider for use in the settlement.


RSU holders

When the administrators invite RSU holders to submit their elections, RSU holders will be able to view which of their RSUs will be settled and the tax withholding amount due per security. In addition, individuals will identify how they would like to satisfy the tax withholding amount owed through a self-service election workflow. 


The three tax withholding payment options include:  

  • Share withholding (i.e., net settlement) - The entire tax withholding amount is paid by surrendering a portion of shares from the vested RSUs released for settlement. The net amount of shares after withholding will be delivered to a RSU holder at settlement. This is the default option.
  • Cash payment - The entire tax withholding amount is paid by a RSU holder in cash (only USD is accepted). RSU holders are required to fund their brokerage account in order to make this election.
  • Share and cash payment - Each RSU holder identifies the mix of cash and shares that will be used to pay the taxes due at settlement, providing them more flexibility. RSU holders are required to fund their brokerage account in order to make this election.

For any cash elections, RSU holders are instructed to transfer the necessary cash to their Carta Liquidity brokerage account*. RSU holders are able to modify their election until the end of the election period. 

At settlement, Carta Liquidity’s integration with Carta’s equity management platform automatically updates an Issuer’s cap table to reflect the shares of stock delivered to RSU holders, and any cash payments received to cover applicable tax obligations will be transferred automatically to the Issuer’s brokerage account. RSU holders will then receive their resulting equity from the Issuer in their Carta accounts. In addition, Carta Liquidity will provide a record of the RSU settlement to both the Issuer and RSU holders. 

Run regular RSU settlement processes with automatic cap table updates and tax withholding calculations, saving your team time and resources 

The RSU Settlement offering will:

  • Reduce the manual administrative work required to set up a regular cadence of RSU settlement through equity management and tax engine integrations
  • Provide RSU holders flexibility to choose how they would like to meet their tax withholding obligations through a self-service election workflow
  • Provide optionality to RSU holders to pay out of pocket for the amount they feel comfortable paying.

Start managing RSU Settlements on Carta!

Reach out to company_coverage@cartacapitalmarkets.com to speak with your relationship manager to turn on this feature. 

*Note: Brokerage accounts and other brokerage services are offered through Carta Capital Markets, LLC (Member: FINRA/SIPC)


Off-Platform Payment Settlement (Capital Markets)

What's new?

Carta Liquidity now offers more optionality when paying transaction proceeds following a tender offer or other private secondary transaction. Issuers can now elect to have proceeds for one or more sellers be paid outside of the Carta Liquidity platform via a third-party (including the Issuer). Below are several use cases that Carta now supports:

  • Proceeds paid through an Issuer’s payroll;
  • Proceeds paid to a seller’s trust account for distribution to beneficiaries; or 
  • Use of a third-party paying agent to distribute proceeds.

How does it work?

During the setup phase of a transaction, an Issuer can elect to have the transaction proceeds for one or more sellers paid off-platform. The Issuer will inform Carta which participants should receive their proceeds off-platform, and the transaction’s Offer to Purchase (OTP) will describe the method by which participants will receive their net sale proceeds. 

At settlement, Carta will deposit proceeds for participants not selected for off-platform payment into their Carta brokerage accounts. For a company repurchase (share buyback), no further action is taken by Carta for the balance of the proceeds as the Issuer will be responsible for the distribution through payroll or otherwise. In the case of a third-party tender offer, Carta will send the balance of the proceeds to the Issuer to handle the distribution to the remaining sellers.

At the close of the transaction, the total amount of money distributed by Carta or a third-party will be recorded in the Transaction Summary Report for the Issuer and the Trade Confirmation for each seller.

(a) Issuer Transaction Summary Report

(b) Trade Confirmation

(c) Statement Cycle Report

Distribute tender offer sale proceeds off-platform through payroll or other means for more payment flexibility

The off-platform payment settlement feature will:

  • Increase an Issuer’s flexibility in determining how transaction proceeds will be paid to sellers for secondary transactions; 
  • Reduce tax withholding and reporting complexity when Issuers choose to leverage their payroll system to distribute proceeds and withhold taxes; and
  • Make it easier for employee sellers that receive proceeds through payroll to contribute those additional funds to their 401k’s or other automated savings plans.

Reach out to Carta to get the process started

Do you want to run a tender offer or other private secondary transaction with a fully-integrated cap table experience? Reach out to Carta Liquidity’s Corporate Coverage team at company_coverage@cartacapitalmarkets.com to figure out the best path towards liquidity. 

Note: 
1. Brokerage accounts and other brokerage services are offered through Carta Capital Markets, LLC. Carta Capital Markets, LLC is a member of FINRA/SIPC.

Tax Withholding Estimates during Order Entry (Capital Markets)

What's new?

Sellers participating in a private market secondary transaction, such as a tender offer, on the CartaX ATS can now view their estimated tax withholdings* during the Order Entry phase. Equipped with estimated tax information, sellers who are US-based employees will be able to make a more informed decision when determining sell preferences and better anticipate their net proceeds.

How does it work?

Issuers sponsoring a tender offer or another structured transaction will provide Carta with their employees’ city, state, and/or federal jurisdictional tax rates. Carta will use the applicable tax rates to calculate their individual estimated tax withholding. 

As sellers select which of their eligible stock holdings to sell during the Order Entry period, the Proceeds Calculator on the right hand side of the screen will automatically update and calculate what their estimated net proceeds may be after fees and taxes*. 

Sellers can then click on “View tax details” (hyperlink within the red box above) to view a breakdown of the estimated tax withholdings by security type and tax jurisdiction.

Enable your employees to understand their estimated tax obligations earlier in a tender offer when placing their sell orders.

The Tax Withholding Estimates during Order Entry will: 

  • Enable sellers to see how their security elections during the Order Entry period may impact their estimated tax withholdings, and ultimately, expected net proceeds; and
  • Save Issuers time by helping to reduce the amount of questions received from sellers about their potential tax withholding obligations. 

 Reach out to Carta to get the process started

Do you want to run a tender offer or other private secondary transaction with a fully-integrated cap table experience? Reach out to Carta Liquidity’s Corporate Coverage team at company_coverage@cartacapitalmarkets.com to figure out the best path towards liquidity. 


*Note - The estimated tax withholdings is for illustrative purposes only. The withholding amount shown is only an estimate. The actual amount withheld from a seller’s proceeds may differ significantly from the amount shown. Tax withholding is not a final calculation of taxes due. A seller may have a greater or lesser tax obligation than the amount withheld by the Issuer, and the seller is responsible for determining whether and when any additional tax payments are required. 

Disclaimer: Carta, through its wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary, Carta Capital Markets, LLC, offers a streamlined experience for executing pre-negotiated stock transfers, tender offers, and other secondary liquidity transactions. Carta Capital Markets, LLC is a member of FINRA/SIPC.

Issuer Transaction Dashboard (Capital Markets)

What's new?

Issuers running a secondary transaction, such as a tender offer, through Carta Liquidity on the CartaX ATS can now access on demand real-time seller participation data during a live transaction via the Issuer Transaction Dashboard (“Dashboard”). 

How does it work?

Issuers can access their brokerage account online and click on their live transaction, where they will see their Dashboard. The “Participation overview” tab includes three key sections:

  • Participation breakdown: The pie chart provides a summary of the transaction’s subscription rate by Relationship type. Issuers can quickly see how close the transaction is to being fully subscribed. Relationship type is determined during the transaction’s setup period.
  • Participant engagement: The bar chart details the number of sellers who (a) have been invited to the transaction, (b) viewed the transaction, and (c) decided to participate by tendering shares.
  • Relationship summary: The table summarizes the participation level across all Relationship types. Details include the participation rate, shares tendered, and the notional value of tendered shares.

The table and charts on this page will update in real-time during the live transaction. 

The “Transaction overview” tab of the Dashboard will be accessible at the close of the offering period and provides a summary of the transaction, including a breakdown of deposits made into the Issuer’s brokerage account. Issuers will be able to access and download their Trade Confirmation and Transaction Summary reports here as well.  

 

Save time and gain real-time transaction and participation data on demand with the Issuer Transaction Dashboard

The Issuer Transaction Dashboard will: 

  • Give you real-time transaction and participation data on demand during a live transaction;
  • Provide you with full oversight and enhance your foresight over the transaction’s results related to filling a buy order; and 
  • Make it easier for you to provide your team with updates on a transaction and Relationship type level, preserving the confidentiality of individual seller activity.

Reach out to Carta to get the process started

Do you want to run a tender offer or other private secondary transaction with a fully-integrated cap table experience? Reach out to Carta Liquidity’s Corporate Coverage team at company_coverage@cartacapitalmarkets.com to figure out the best path towards liquidity. 

 

Disclaimer: Carta, through its wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary, Carta Capital Markets, LLC, offers a streamlined experience for executing pre-negotiated stock transfers, tender offers, and other secondary liquidity transactions. Carta Capital Markets, LLC is a member of FINRA/SIPC.

Redesigned 409A Acceptance Flow


What’s new?

We have redesigned the way you review and accept your 409A valuation on Carta. This new design presents you first with a quick summary of the analysis along with a note from your analyst letting you know the next steps in finalizing your fair market value (FMV). Once you have reviewed the report, if you have any questions you can contact our team of valuation experts through the support module in the valuation review portal. Lastly, receive board approval from within or outside of Carta to finalize the current FMV on your account. 

How it Works

Once you receive an email notifying you that your valuation is ready for review, you can follow the link within that email to access the 409A ledger where you are able to review and download your valuation. Alternatively, you can navigate to the page within Carta at Compliance > 409A Valuation.




Review your valuation

From the 409A Ledger, once you select ‘Review 409A report’ you will be directed to the valuation review portal. Here you will find an overview of the analysis performed and the concluded FMV along with a note from your valuation analyst informing you of next steps and noting any details within the report that warrant extra attention. Once you have reviewed the analyst’s note and valuation summary, you can download the full report or access the support module from the valuation review portal to access support articles or get in touch with our team of valuation experts. 


Get board approval

Now that you have reviewed the valuation, the next step is to send it to your board for review. You can do so using the board consent feature within your Carta account to easily track acceptance from each board member within the Carta platform. Once all board members have submitted their board approval through the platform, your valuation will automatically be accepted on Carta. If you got approval outside of Carta, that’s great too, simply select ‘My board has approved’ to accept the valuation to finalize the current FMV in your account. Once finalized, the new FMV will be visible to your option holders on Carta.




409A Ledger Redesign

What’s new?

We have redesigned the 409A Ledger Page where you come to request and review the 409A Valuations of your company and enter the Fair Market Value (FMV) of your company’s options. The goal of this refresh is to help you navigate the valuation process with ease and access resources quickly whenever you need assistance. 

With this updated design you will quickly and easily identify where you are in the valuation process and what to expect next. Carta is here to help you along the way with curated support articles and a variety of options to get in touch with us if you have questions not covered within the articles.

How it Works

Under Compliance > 409A you will find a number of new features designed to help you navigate the Carta Valuation process with confidence.

Valuation Status Tracker

The Valuation Status Tracker at the top of the page clearly indicates where your company is in the valuation request process. Whether you are in the middle of completing your request, if your draft is ready for review or if you are anywhere in between, the tracker will let you know what your next step is as soon as you land on the 409A Ledger page. Also included are tools and support articles to help answer common questions that you may have based on where you are in the valuation process.



Review and accept your valuation

Once you have received your valuation, you can download it for review directly from the Valuation Tracker on the 409A Ledger page. After you have had a chance to review the report and are ready to accept, you will be directed to the final step in The Valuation Tracker, the acceptance workflow. 



Get in touch with our team

Have a question? Navigate to our Support Module on the page and select the contact method that works best for you, our team of experts will follow up with a response typically within 1 business day.



Viewing your 409A Valuations

Now that you have completed the valuation process, your most recent valuation will be displayed at the top of the table at the bottom of the page along with any previous valuations saved to your Carta account. If you have any questions for our Valuation team in between valuations, simply navigate to the new 409A Ledger Page to access our Support model to get in touch with our team of Valuation Experts.




Notifications for Qualified Small Businesses

What’s New

Users with holdings in companies identified as Qualified Small Businesses (QSB) will now be notified of the potential tax benefit. Carta determines QSB eligibility when performing a 409A valuation and email notifications will be sent to all users associated with the company once the valuation is accepted. In addition, vesting emails will include information about the qualified small business stock (QSBS) tax benefit.

Furthermore, users can now find a banner in the company overview page within their portfolio that informs them about QSBS eligibility, linking to a blog post to learn more. Finally, users will be notified if their exercise qualifies for QSBS once they submit an exercise request.

Who this affects

US Companies using Carta for 409A valuations that are QSBS eligible and all their stakeholders, prioritizing “Vested” option holders. 

How it works

Email notifications

Emails are sent to all users associated with a company that qualifies as a QSB. If Carta determines the company is a qualified small business, emails are sent once the 409A valuation is accepted. Extra emails are sent to all users each time the company’s valuation includes eligibility. 

Vesting emails

Vesting emails will now include information about QSBS eligibility to help make a more informed decision about exercising. 

Company’s overview page

A banner informing users of the QSBS Eligibility Tax Benefit can be found next to the company’s name in their portfolio. This banner appears for companies identified as qualified small businesses, including information about the potential tax benefit from exercising and the expected timeframe of the company’s eligibility. 

Exercise submission message

Upon submitting an exercise request, the Congratulations page will inform users that the shares are QSBS-eligible. It summarizes the conditions and links to an Equity Education article to learn more (highlighted in red).

Timing

  • General availability for all 409A customers by the end of Q1

Additional Resources

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

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.

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.

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