Here is an employee offer letter from Yokum Taku at Wilson Sonsini, published in its entirety, in various formats:

Offer Letter: Microsoft Word PDF Google Docs

The offer letter is also included at the bottom of this post.

If you’re an employee, ask questions if your offer letter varies substantially from this one. Ask questions even if it doesn’t.

If you’re an employer, don’t use this offer letter without legal advice. Don’t use any legal documents without legal advice.

Related: (Not so) Scary terms in offer letters. I have a job offer at a startup, am I getting a good deal: Part 1 and Part 2.

Offer Letter

Note: This offer letter includes the follow disclaimer from Wilson Sonsini.

This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising, a solicitation, or legal advice. Transmission of such materials and information contained herein is not intended to create, and receipt thereof does not constitute formation of, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not rely upon this information for any purpose without seeking legal advice from a licensed attorney in the reader’s state. The information contained in this website is provided only as general information and may or may not reflect the most current legal developments; accordingly, information on this website is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website. Further, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati does not necessarily endorse, and is not responsible for, any third-party content that may be accessed through this website.

Company
[Company Letterhead]

[Click And Type Date]

[Click and Type Employee]
Dear [Click and Type Employee]:

I am pleased to offer you a position with COMPANY NAME (the “Company”), as its [Click And Type Position]. If you decide to join us, you will receive a monthly salary of $[Click And Type Amount], which will be paid semi monthly in accordance with the Company’s normal payroll procedures. As an employee, you will also be eligible to receive certain employee benefits including [list employee benefits here or "The details of these employee benefits are explained in Exhibit A."] You should note that the Company may modify job titles, salaries and benefits from time to time as it deems necessary.

***Optional—Vesting Schedule May Differ Too***In addition, if you decide to join the Company, it will be recommended at the first meeting of the Company’s Board of Directors following your start date that the Company grant you an option to purchase [Click And Type Amount] shares of the Company’s Common Stock at a price per share equal to the fair market value per share of the Common Stock on the date of grant, as determined by the Company’s Board of Directors. [Confirm Vesting Schedule] 25% of the shares subject to the option shall vest 12 months after the date your vesting begins subject to your continuing employment with the Company, and no shares shall vest before such date. The remaining shares shall vest monthly over the next 36 months in equal monthly amounts subject to your continuing employment with the Company. This option grant shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Company’s Stock Option Plan and Stock Option Agreement, including vesting requirements. No right to any stock is earned or accrued until such time that vesting occurs, nor does the grant confer any right to continue vesting or employment.

***Optional***Also, we are offering you reimbursement of relocation expenses for your move from ____________ to ________________, up to a maximum reimbursement of $[amount]. The items for which we offer reimbursement are __________, __________, and __________. (Example: one trip for you and your spouse to do a home search, shipment of household goods, etc.) We will only reimburse for reasonable expenditures which are supported by valid receipts provided promptly to the Company.

The Company is excited about your joining and looks forward to a beneficial and productive relationship. Nevertheless, you should be aware that your employment with the Company is for no specified period and constitutes at-will employment. As a result, you are free to resign at any time, for any reason or for no reason. Similarly, the Company is free to conclude its employment relationship with you at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice. We request that, in the event of resignation, you give the Company at least two weeks notice.

The Company reserves the right to conduct background investigations and/or reference checks on all of its potential employees. Your job offer, therefore, is contingent upon a clearance of such a background investigation and/or reference check, if any.

For purposes of federal immigration law, you will be required to provide to the Company documentary evidence of your identity and eligibility for employment in the United States. Such documentation must be provided to us within three (3) business days of your date of hire, or our employment relationship with you may be terminated.

We also ask that, if you have not already done so, you disclose to the Company any and all agreements relating to your prior employment that may affect your eligibility to be employed by the Company or limit the manner in which you may be employed. It is the Company’s understanding that any such agreements will not prevent you from performing the duties of your position and you represent that such is the case. Moreover, you agree that, during the term of your employment with the Company, you will not engage in any other employment, occupation, consulting or other business activity directly related to the business in which the Company is now involved or becomes involved during the term of your employment, nor will you engage in any other activities that conflict with your obligations to the Company. Similarly, you agree not to bring any third party confidential information to the Company, including that of your former employer, and that in performing your duties for the Company you will not in any way utilize any such information.

As a Company employee, you will be expected to abide by the Company’s rules and standards. Specifically, you will be required to sign an acknowledgment that you have read and that you understand the Company’s rules of conduct which are included in the Company Handbook. [If Handbook has not yet been adopted add "which the Company will soon complete and distribute."]

As a condition of your employment, you are also required to sign and comply with an At-Will Employment, Confidential Information, Invention Assignment and Arbitration Agreement which requires, among other provisions, the assignment of patent rights to any invention made during your employment at the Company, and non disclosure of Company proprietary information. In the event of any dispute or claim relating to or arising out of our employment relationship, you and the Company agree that (i) any and all disputes between you and the Company shall be fully and finally resolved by binding arbitration, (ii) you are waiving any and all rights to a jury trial but all court remedies will be available in arbitration, (iii) all disputes shall be resolved by a neutral arbitrator who shall issue a written opinion, (iv) the arbitration shall provide for adequate discovery, and (v) the Company shall pay all but the first $125 of the arbitration fees. Please note that we must receive your signed Agreement before your first day of employment.

To accept the Company’s offer, please sign and date this letter in the space provided below. A duplicate original is enclosed for your records. If you accept our offer, your first day of employment will be [Click And Type Date]. This letter, along with any agreements relating to proprietary rights between you and the Company, set forth the terms of your employment with the Company and supersede any prior representations or agreements including, but not limited to, any representations made during your recruitment, interviews or pre employment negotiations, whether written or oral. This letter, including, but not limited to, its at-will employment provision, may not be modified or amended except by a written agreement signed by the President of the Company and you. This offer of employment will terminate if it is not accepted, signed and returned by [Click And Type Date].

We look forward to your favorable reply and to working with you at COMPANY.

Sincerely,

___________________________
[Click And Type Name]
[Click And Type Title]

Agreed to and accepted:

Signature: ______________________________
Printed Name: ___________________________
Date: __________________________________

Enclosures
Duplicate Original Letter
At-Will Employment, Confidential Information, Invention Assignment and Arbitration Agreement

Topics Employees · Hiring · Legal Documents

One Comment · Show

  • Jonathan

    Just to add: if the offer involves stock ( grant , options, etc ) – it’ll also often have signature lines for your spouse (if you have one) dealing with non-transferability and other fun stuff.

    Eager lawyers like to protect and over-protect – they toss in spousal agreement clauses so that everything stays between the company and the employee – even in cases of divorce. If you get divorced, then you pay for the legal fight with your spouse over the valuation of vested equity — and the company is both kept out of that legal mess , and doesn’t give the spouse a chunk of equity which could be used to undermine the business.