Vital to the success of a growing enterprise is the effective management of employment documents. This process, however, if not structured properly, can evolve into a highly chaotic and messy proposition.

Typically under the auspices of an HR Department, the purpose of these documents is to clarify the rights, accountabilities, and expectations for successful workforce engagement. Part of the employee record, they play a critical role in ensuring consistency in how workplace policies, procedures, and practices are applied.

These are among the documents commonly used to codify an employment relationship:

At Equa, we believe that compliance audits along with the need for organizational risk mitigation activity underscore the need for unalterable, timestamped, single source of truth documents. Other emerging trends informing Equa’s value proposition and solutions in this space include:

Companies are increasingly employing digitally signed records and other documents tied to workplace relationships.

The growing acceptance of “electronic signatures” as so-called wet signatures.

The need for easy access and identification of a single source of truth documents for workplace compliance audits and employer-employee disputes

HR cost and productivity savings associated with advancements in the management of records and permissioned access.

In today’s dynamic business environment where workplace disputes and compliance audits are common, seamless access to properly executed documents holds great importance. Equa’s innovative solution fostering frictionless, single source of truth documentation represents a major leap forward in this quest.

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When Corporate Governance Fails

Humans have organized the world through an infinite string of agreements and social contracts. Whether people agree to stop at a red light or get in line at the grocery store, a functioning society depends on these kinds of agreements. Managing organizations like nonprofits and corporations require layers of agreements between stakeholders.

At formation, organizations must abide by government policies by registering with the state and obtaining a tax registration ID. If these rules aren’t explicitly outlined by the regulatory body, they are covered by an operating agreement. Fully understanding the contents of your operating agreement and knowing your organization’s needs can save you many sleepless nights.

Aside from the largest liability of not having an operating agreement, to begin with, another common mistake includes assuming that all signatures have been collected to make the document legally binding.

As your trusted tax advisor will tell you, different organizations fall under different tax categories and your operating agreement needs to align, accordingly, from the start. Further, most businesses “set it and forget it” when it comes to their operating agreements. Similarly, changes in IRS tax policy may necessitate changes to your operating agreement. Equa brings dormant agreements to life via its cutting-edge technology.

The second major agreement that organizations must pay significant attention to is the capitalization table, often referred to as the “cap table”. Since this is a ledger deciphering who owns what and how much, the cap table needs frequent analysis to ensure accuracy as it can impact company valuation, capital raises and even recruiting talented executives.

Many cap tables are created using spreadsheet software and most cap tables have errors stemming from duplicated files that have been shared among multiple owners. Depending on basic spreadsheet software to account for true ownership when dealing with vested shares, options, dividends, transfers, buybacks and cancellation of vested shares due to employee termination can result in an accounting nightmare. Furthermore, correcting mistakes involves costly attorneys and accountants. Unfortunately, these mistakes are usually overlooked until a company is pursuing a capital raise. However, in today’s competitive capital markets, money may dry up while investors wait for a resolution to this oversight.

This is where Equa can help!

As a technology company, Equa understands these problems and has built an incredible team of entrepreneurs and developers to automate the management of operating agreements, as well as the organized maintenance of a cap table. Our technology empowers any organization to swiftly make decisions covered by an operating agreement. Every vote is captured and recorded securely and in real-time through our web application and mobile app.

Fundamentally, this process reduces friction by adding velocity and accountability to organizational management such as owner or director level decision-making processes. Our technology also includes a single source of truth that allows a fully transparent and auditable ledger of an organization’s ownership. The combination of Equa's advanced agreement and ownership management provides peace of mind to busy business owners. Further, our tools provide them with the ability to timestamp and permanently store their decisions in a system for easy dispute resolution and reconciliation in the future.

Equa: Frictionless agreements. Cap Table Management. Business Simplified

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

A “Cap Table” (short for “Capitalization Table) is a document, typically in the form of a spreadsheet or table, that offers a snapshot of a company’s equity capitalization and total market value.

While commonly used by startups and early-stage businesses, cap tables have utility for all types of companies. In the case of a new startup, the founders are typically the only ones represented on the cap table. This is because they’re the sole equity holders. But as a company matures, the volume of cap table entries expand pursuant to growth in the number of investors as well as company ownership changes.

These documents aim to capture shareholder equity and other sorts of information including common equity shares, preferred equity shares, warrants, and convertible equity. With this, cap tables become a vital decision-making tool for assessing equity ownership, market capitalization, and market value.

Given the financial significance of this information and the fact that companies are constantly evolving, it is paramount for a cap table to be accurate, tailored, and kept current and up-to-date.

One of the common pitfalls with cap tables is that a manually updated Excel spreadsheet can morph into more than one version.

By way of example, the company chief financial officer might manage one copy while outside legal council holds another version. So if a staff member exercises their option and the company forgets to provide an update of this to the lawyer (or vice versa), the two records become inconsistent. It’s here where the reconciliation of these records can become time-consuming and costly

There are many factors and emerging trends that impact capitalization. Therefore accurate and up-to-date cap table provides are paramount for fostering strategic direction and business growth.

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Data rooms are cloud applications that facilitate the secure storage and sharing of confidential information, including business documents. These virtual constellations are now the norm and are rapidly replacing the need for actual physical documentation.

Properly administered, these systems represent an additional layer of security for business documents. They can also reduce friction when it comes to the movement of documents contributing to the speed and execution of a transaction.

Essentially, a data room acts as a hub for all sorts of engagements that require a robust and secure environment for storage, management, and sharing of business information. These systems then become globally accessible through an internet connection.

Companies facing various forms of due diligence and asset management requests find data room solutions of immense value. They are particularly useful in the facilitation of collaborations and working relationships between business stakeholders.

Traditionally employed in the financial world, data room use cases have experienced a major growth trajectory over the past decade. Mergers and acquisitions and joint venture investments are two realms where virtual data has grown in popularity. Operating agreements, patents, and compliance records are other areas where these digital systems are seeing growing adoption.

In the future, data room solutions will increasingly make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to boost such features as automatic document translations and query management. Other features that are making an advancement include notation systems, advanced permissions, and multi-factor authentication.

Then there’s the emergence of Blockchain that promises to upend the world of traditional archiving, with secure data rooms validated with the timestamping phase of a transaction.

Below is a list of common questions and answers about the Equa data room and why Equa represents such a promising new normal for businesses and enterprises.

How are documents transferred into the Equa data room?

The client success team will work with you every step of the way to ensure an easy and secure upload of your files to the Equa data room. Through this manual process, we collect everything our clients need to set up a corporate data room successfully. We conduct a thorough gap analysis of your documents before migrating them into our system.

As we begin to digitize the individual and unique clauses of operating documents, vendor documents, employment documents, cap tables, — anything tied to governance and compliance activities within your organization, we will turn all of those documents into digital forms that will be updatable and changeable as you progress through your business cycles. Our aim is to ensure a smooth and safe transmittal of this information.

Who manages a data room, Equa or the client?

The aim is for both Equa and you, the client, to have full administrative control over the contents of a data room. What that means is, while Equa could produce documents that could land in your data room, you as a client will also have your own documents that you’ll want to upload and manage.

What makes the Equa data room so valuable?

Keeping track of myriad business documents is an immense, time-consuming hassle for most organizations. A compliance review can be an absolute nightmare as well, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a really good lawyer who’s exquisitely well organized with files and can retrieve them on a moments notice. The value of a data room is in this retrievability, along with the accessibility and authoritativeness of having the most recent, up to date independently verifiable source of a document.

How easily can we retrieve documents?

With Equa, not only are your documents retrievable on a moment’s notice, but you also have the ability to amend them very quickly. And it’s very cost-effective compared to other options.

How do we engage with the Equa platform once our documents have been downloaded?

Our intuitive dashboard comes with simple and easy-to-understand workflows to ensure a world-class user experience. This, in turn, helps to boost the overall efficiency of your document storage and retrieval processes.

What if we want to make changes to a document?

The ability to make changes or amendments to any governing document is essential to ensuring the most up to date, accurate repository. Equa provides a seamless platform for ensuring a single source of truth for all your documents.

How does this update and access process actually occur?

Once uploaded, we’ll produce the original documents which will allow those designated to digitally signed these documents. We will also create hashed versions of these for the blockchain with those links of information stored within our system so you can see the who and when of any amendments to the document.

Who controls access to these documents?

Once you make changes to, say, a Capitalization Table or other operational document, we’re going to back that up on a blockchain, creating a public record that’s independently verifiable by each individual who had access to the original document via a private key. Here at Equa, we’ll help you manage and control access to those documents, along with providing auditable records of all of who accessed them and when they were accessed.

And who can be given access?

That’s for you to determine. It could include two corporate administrators, a president and a vice-president, the corporate lawyer or employees who have been issued stocks in an organization. Each person is going to have different levels of access to the data room, or different data rooms specific to their needs. Those different levels of access will provide them with different pieces of information that are appropriate for their levels of exposure.

Is there a particular protocol that ensures this access?

Essentially what we’re talking about here is data storage with private key encryption and basic log in protection which allows each person access at the appropriate levels. Audit trails are then going to tag along as people with the right credentials are able to access certain documents.

What about our paper documents?

Paper versions do ultimately get filed with some jurisdictional or government agency. The good news is that digital options to file those paper versions have been developed. Those are the types of partnerships we’re looking to build through Equa over time.

What is the ultimate value proposition that Equa delivers?

For both you as a business and your community of stakeholders, your cost and productivity value exponentially increase in terms of greater efficiencies around agreements. Decisions can be made more quickly with the rapid processing and dissemination of information. It’s like rocket fuel for businesses that want to move more quickly while staying compliant.

The year was 1993. I registered my first corporate entity, an S corporation for a new Chicago-based business I’d decided to launch.

Several months later I sat in stunned amazement after receiving a voluminous three-ring binder with all of my documents.

“Yipes”, I thought. “What have I gotten myself into?”

Keep in mind that these were the pre-Internet days. There was no web, no cloud service to house the documents on, no email, nada. Yet somehow, I had to figure out how to keep all of these documents straight.

My solution? Tuck the binder away for safekeeping and never look at it again.

Sound familiar?

A Flurry of New Documents

I’ve now established corporate entities in states like Indiana, Nevada, California, New Mexico, and Colorado over the years. And thankfully, with the growing adoption of the Internet, the process of setting up a business has become exponentially easier.

Take a look online and you’ll find an ocean of corporate entity services for setting up LLCs and the like. They’ll file the appropriate Secretary of State documents, set up a tax ID number, and secure a resident agent for you if you reside out-of-state.

The good news is that many of these companies are now able to send you an electronic version of your documents. Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, these documents are rarely given any attention. In fact, often they end up getting parked in an e-repository gathering cosmic dust, vulnerable to security hacks.

The filed formation documents, however, hold great importance in terms of equity holder rights as well as the management and operation of your entity. For corporations, this is embodied in what is known as the “articles of incorporation” and the “bylaws.” Limited liability companies (LLCs) on the other hand utilize certificates of formation and operating agreements.

Limited Liability Companies, in particular, have grown in popularity over the years in part due to less onerous document requirements. On the other hand, if you form S Corporations, C Corporations, and certainly Limited Liability Partnerships, you’ll likely find your paperwork to be much more voluminous.

In the end, every business needs a written agreement outlining the operational roadmap, protocol, and rules. These operational documents are your company’s governance model, akin to a written constitution or charter.

But wait, you’re not done.

Once your business is operational, you will find that it will spawn all sorts of other documents that can be challenging to keep organized. By way of example, Nevada and Wyoming corporations offer major benefits in terms of asset protection. So, documents tied to brokerage accounts, gold certificates, cars, homes, and other tangible assets placed under say an LLC must be properly accounted for and stored in a secure and safe environment.

The Blockchain of Business

Equa is a promising new company positioned to deliver a compelling solution to the morass of documents that business owners are required to manage. It combines the ability to easily and seamlessly form a new business entity with the ongoing support needed to ensure that documents are up-to-date, organized and easily accessible.

Equa's key value proposition is the ability to foster the living core documents that are the brain of your business. Equaeffectively facilitates the constellation of start-up documents and business agreement by employing the emerging technology known as Blockchain.

In his book, The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust, Kevin Werbach, Professor of Legal Studies at the Wharton School of Business defines blockchain as “a data storage system using linked sequential chunks of information. It is literally a chain of blocks designed to create an immutable ledger of transactions.”

In other words, blockchain as a digital ledger is exquisitely efficient in organizing records of business agreements and transactions. It offers privacy protocols that regulate how information can be accessed as well as a digital trail identifying who and when the information was accessed.

An additional element in the blockchain constellation, known as smart contracts, mitigates the need for intermediaries, boosts consistency and creates accountability in the workflow process. This helps boost the efficiency and effectiveness of a business.

New Frontiers of Business Asset Management

Back when I formed my business in 1993, the three-ring binder full of documents I received included stock certificates to issue shares to investors. Moreover, any assets held by my company were to be recorded on a paper document and filed away appropriately.

Today with blockchain’s emergence, tokenization is the next evolution for the future of business. Literally, anything of value can be tokenized by recording it on a blockchain with the digital tokens signifying value and ownership. Investor shares can be easily purchased and sold from your business via tokens, all easily transferable via the blockchain network.

All of this reflects the next wave of proprietary rights tied to the tokenization of assets whether they be commercial real estate, cars, even gold. Equa can offer direction on how to build a digital token framework for managing these assets in a secure and efficacious way.

Now with a living version of your organizational documents and tokenized assets, you’ll no longer be working with a static document that is sitting on a hard drive on some computer. That’s what sparked my interest in Equa and I hope you’ll invest the time to learn more about this exciting startup as well.

Michael Scott is a Las Vegas Blockchain Journalist and blogger for Equa

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Imagine a nerdy, bean counter-ish accountant nestled in dark corner wrestling with a spreadsheet. For some, this is what comes to mind when they think of the term “Cap Table.”

With the advancements taking place in the nascent world of technology a reframe of this mindset is emerging, one that promises to revolutionize the world of business capital and investments.

Cap Tables or “capitalization tables,” are a spreadsheet or digital table that highlights a company’s ownership percentages, level and value of equity for founders, investors, and other owners involved in investment rounds.

The purpose of this record-keeping system is to provide a snapshot of all of the shareholders and security holders of a business. This tally is designed to ensure that the share count of a business or enterprise is equal to the total number of shares held by investors and other security holders such as management team members, founders, paid advisors, and rank-in-file staff.

Typically employed by startups and early-stage private companies, Cap Tables ideally will include a record of all equity ownership capital, including common and preferred equity shares and pricing, convertible equity, and warrants. A more in-depth table might integrate elements such as new funding sources, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other sorts of enterprise related transactions.

Because companies are in a constant state of evolution and flux, traditional ways of ensuring that cap tables are continuously updated can be quite involved, particularly if it involves a large scale, rapidly growing business. The issuance of new securities, option pool increases, or the granting of options to employees is among the myriad events that can trigger a change to a capitalization table. Same with a termination event such as when employees exit a business or an investor redeems, transfers, or sells shares.

Harnessing “Cap Tables” As A Decision-making Tool”

There are countless decisions made over the life of a business that impact capitalization. By way of example, if new financing is being sought, a series of scenarios may be needed to assess key factors such as valuations. Or the recruitment of a new Chief Operating Officer where a candidate might request to review key information and metrics on the strategic position of the company. Bottom line, an accurate and up-to-date cap table appraisal allow good business decisions to be made thoughtfully and rapidly.

Here’s another key consideration: If your company is venture backed, you are likely under the auspices of “protective provisions” which require various approvals prior to taking certain actions.

By way of example, let’s say that your business is seeking new financing. Your charter probably requires that separate consents be obtained from a majority of Series A, B, and C shares.

In this scenario, your cap table should reflect the percentage of Series A and B shares (together) held by each individual holder as well as the Series C share percentage held by each holder. This will allow you to quickly gather the necessary consents for your new financing.

A Jump “START” To Cap Table Management

At Equa our aim is to provide a simplified solution to capitalization tables, one that reduces the time, labor and friction around a stock transfer. Here, the computation and retention can be done using technology (versus by an error-prone human) resulting in a faster, cheaper and more accurate outcome.

We are also rapidly progressing toward providing our clients with new technology solutions that allow ownership transfers to take place in minutes at little or no cost. This signals a vast improvement over time and costs attributed to current best practices.

Currently, with the transfer of ownership, two signatures are required by the parties selling the equity, a process that can drag on for month amid busy schedules. With this new solution, digital signatures will be able to be captured allowing for the process and even settlement times to be accelerated.

Finally, Equa's solution promises to mitigate a great deal of the record-keeping labor costs associated with transferring equity. With the prospect of record-keeping being done on-chain, there is no cost attributed to humans.

In the end, cap tables through instant, online issuance and transfer of company stock without transfer fees signify a groundbreaking innovation for today’s rapidly emerging “ownership economy.” This move to instant records of ownership tied to work efforts and communications signifies Equa's leading role in blazing a new future for business record-keeping and document management.

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Cloud storage continues to emerge as the go-to repository for document and data storage. Yet, questions remain about the security and privacy aspects of these sites.

Media attention abounds about hacked databases, data compromises and other intrusions by nefarious internet actors. This has created a torrent of concerns about the secure nature of Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and other prominent cloud-based applications.

Here at Equa, privacy and security considerations are of the highest importance as we enable businesses to become highly skilled in the navigation of compliance and governance documents.

The Equa data rooms are designed to expedite the advancement and completion of necessary business activities. Along with the excitement growing around the use of permission-based controls, Equa has a system in place to manage user access while monitoring who has viewed a document.

Driven by blockchain technology, Equa’s secure platform offers clients the ability to create data vaults for their documents, including capitalization tables, management, shareholder rights documents, and voting and reporting.

Asked about Equa’s response to the rapidly growing importance of cloud security, Chuck Williams, Lead Developer for Equa had this to share:

“As a software developer, questions around security have always been kind of a big and nebulous question because security is not a binary thing. In the end, there is no authoritative source that says this is or is not secure.”

Williams though believes that the most secure thing on the planet currently is the bitcoin blockchain that Equa is employing. “The blockchain has been up and running 99.9% of the time over the past ten years. That gives it the most uptime of any network in human history.”

Equa, he says, because of the setup of its protocol, should give clients comfort in the event of some sort of security issue. Williams concludes:

“Our goal is to execute everything in a manner that allows our clients to still have access to all of their assets and documents written on any blockchain.”

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