Hi, I'm a college student working to help found a company. Right now I work about 10 hours per week, but receive no pay. There are about 5 people plus the person driving the business venture operating in this manner. The business does call center augmentation out of the APAC region. I have been promised the opportunity to receive both pay and equity in the new venture. Right now it is early days, and the concept of stock option agreements and employment offer letters seems a bit far off. That said, working without any form of agreement seems very odd to me.
First what should be a reasonable expectation of equity in the business or how might we think about determining a fair equity position. My personal contributions are significant, developing product strategy, web site, messaging, etc.
Second, how should I try and protect myself and my rights in documenting this understanding. Right now everything is simply verbal agreement.
Get something in writing before you lift another finger. All your efforts will be for nothing if you guys cannot agree on an equity split, vesting, etc.
Get and read the book "Slicing Pie" by Mike Moyers. It describes a really great system for allocating equity during the early days when everyone is working without pay.
Be specific, forthright, and realistic. Express your priorities, in writing. Ask for a written response by a specific date, or, gracefully walk away. A business-like gentleman/lady should never regret expressing fair requests.