So I have identified a local business that has been having a lot of success in the local brick and mortar retail market and I believe with my help on the technology side they could expand to become a nationwide heavy-weight in their industry.

I am preparing a business proposal for their CEO and would like to ask for equity in the company as part payment for my services.

I believe this would be fair as I would be taking them from a non-existent online presence to developing a bespoke e-commerce solution which would integrate into their retail stores and online marketplaces as well as handling their SEO which would really drive up their revenue.

In return for equity I would significantly lower the price for developing this custom solution which would take between 1-2 years to complete.

Am I being unreasonable by asking a potential client for a 1-2% share of their company in return? I should mention this company has not approached me but I will be reaching out to them to suggest how they could expand with my help.


  • 1
    Have you already spoken to the CEO? Do they actually want an online presence? It may depend on culture of course, but asking for equity for web development is hardly standard, but you never know. Dec 25, 2016 at 21:01
  • Thanks for the replies. I have not yet spoken to the CEO regarding this particular proposal but I have met him previously and he seems very ambitious. I have outlined how the company could grow exponentially over the next few years with my help and expand into additional revenue streams and channels they don't currently have the technology or resources to do. I see no reason why he wouldn't want to move forward and drive growth in his company but I guess I will have to wait and see what he says after my pitch. Thanks
    – FMC
    Dec 26, 2016 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


I don't see a problem with asking for equity. Your proposal to them is sound the way you describe it here. You seem to be an able freelancer with the right skills to help them complete their project. If you are convinced that it is you that they want as their freelancer and your business relationship is healthy then I would assume it would only be to their benefit that they accept your proposal.

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