Board Compensation

Board Compensation

First off, it is not given that Startup Board members get paid money. Compensation for Board members varies by engagement, stage and reputation of the Board member (e.g. a renowned chairperson). Normally, Board members who are representatives of funds that are invested in the company do not get compensated to serve on the Board. However, it is typical for independent Board members to get compensated for their time and services. Hence, on this page, we try to provide you with compensation benchmarks across different stages.

1. Engagement

The level of compensation as an independent Board member is usually tied to the level of engagement. In the following, you will find a guideline on the different engagement levels.

  • Low engagement - Board members are very hands-off, available for infrequent emails or phone calls and (typically) attending quarterly Board meetings in person or on the phone.
  • Medium engagement - Board members are more involved and are expected to participate in scheduled conference calls and meetings in addition to attending quarterly meetings in person.
  • High engagement - Board members are involved in day-to-day decision-making at the company and can expect to contribute on a semi-monthly basis.

2. Stage

When payment is on the table, it usually looks as follows:

Cash Component
Exit Bonus
Seed Stage
- 0.2-1.5% of the company’s overall shares, 0.75% on average in a seed stage
Rarely the case
Series A
As time goes on, equity percentages will decrease as cash payments begin while equity shares decrease to 0.5% per new board member
EUR 10-30k annually
Series B+
New board members tend to receive less equity, averaging at 0.4% of the company
EUR 25-65k+ annually