Investments · Fundraising

Who picks up the bill? The investor or the entrepreneur?

Bogdan Mirkac Electronic engineer / business development manager

September 28th, 2016

This will be in the case of a dinner being arranged by both parties where the main discussion is a potential investment in the entrepreneur’s company.
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David Martin

September 28th, 2016

Personally, I offer to pay for my own. I don't ask or expect the investor to pay and I don't pay for his/hers. If the investor feels entitled by gracing your presence I would find another investor. Likely the investor will pick up the check, at which point I would ask how much you owe. I don't see a problem with allowing and stating your appreciation at that point though.

Just don't say "If I had known you were paying I would have ordered the filet and lobster" :)

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

September 28th, 2016

In the normal course, people looking for money wine and dine VCs and potential investors.  Some but not all VCs will invite you for a meal, but it is the exception not the rule. If you are doing the inviting, which I don't recommend, expect to spend what it takes. You are trying to make a favorable impression. But teh food or the restaurant does not sell the deal. Its the conversation, so pick some place quiet, where you can make your pitch and answer questions. 

Joe Walling Experienced software developer, software architect, owner of custom software development shop

September 28th, 2016

As Jacob said "General etiquette is that whomever did the inviting should pick up the bill". However, keep in mind the law of reciprocity. I like buying lunch for others... especially if they are in a position to help me.

Jacob Kojfman Experienced technology and corporate lawyer, focusing on SAAS

September 28th, 2016

General etiquette is that whomever did the inviting should pick up the bill...

Ema Chuku Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad

September 28th, 2016

Stick with caffe meetup for potentials (VC). Dinner meet ups should be saved for "sure-thing" deals.

That way you wouldn't be so focused on worrying about the tab when you both are ordering food in a caffe.

For "sure thing" dinners, you can pay and expense it.


Sidney Sclar SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com

September 28th, 2016

Survey says, the one that does the inviting and the place is the one that generally pays the bill. When in doubt, go the restroom and ask for the bill.

Arthur Lipper Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.

September 28th, 2016

Either the investor should pay or possibly split the bill payment.

Laura Oliphant Business Development and Venture Capital Professional

September 28th, 2016

First rule of startups:  make the VC pay.  Seriously, this was one of my tests on the frugality of a startup, if you were too quick with the check, you might be too quick with the check in other instances...

Giri Amarakone Next generation Cognitive Engine for Natural Language Applications

September 28th, 2016

I suspect it depends on two things.
1) Size of the companies  - In business the larger always take the bill the reverse will look like a bribe.
2) Who invited the other  - If you badly needs someone's time the least you can do it to feed them.

A small startup should never have to pay for a VC dinner bill.   Focus should be on getting customers not VCs.  IMO.

Bogdan Mirkac Electronic engineer / business development manager

September 29th, 2016

In my opinion, I would expect that the one who initiated a meeting should pay but I would offer to pay anyway since in different cultures different rules apply. For example, in Serbian culture people often argue who will pay the bill and sometimes it might be considered an insult not letting your host pay for your meal if he insists. I am fighting this but somehow I always feel like I have to at least offer to pay.