What is Sweat Equity Share

  •  6m
  • 0
  • 06 Oct 2023
What is Sweat Equity Share

Key Highlights

  • Sweat equity refers to the unpaid labor that entrepreneurs and staff members contribute to a project.
  • For a share of the business, owners, and employees frequently accept salaries that are below market rates in start-up situations.
  • Working for sweat equity carries a bigger risk than receiving a regular salary, but the potential rewards are greater if the business is successful.

To understand every aspect of sweat equity share, read this article below.

Sweat equity shares are shares that are given to specific employees of a given company in accordance with Section 2(88) of the Companies Act of 2013 when those employees have made significant contributions to the achievement of a task or assignment, like when an employee has proven expert technical expertise in a particular subject, or when an employee has significantly contributed to the company and acquired intellectual property rights.

Companies and employees need to understand the sweat equity share meaning in order to understand the compensation structure. In the context of start-ups and small enterprises, Sweat equity is often used to compensate founders or early staff for their work with capital rather than salary. The company stock options available to founders and employees are also included in Sweat's equity shares. In the case of a partnership, one partner may provide financial resources while the other may receive sweat equity.

Sweat equity means that, without monetary benefits, an offer to physically and mentally perform tasks will be considered a contribution. In cases where a company does not have sufficient capital to cover the costs of an individual or entity contributing to its operation, it uses this type of equity structure.

Today, in order to keep the best people running their activities and making a business run smoothly, most firms offer this type of equity. The startup will offer them sweat equity shares if they do not have sufficient capital to cover their contributions.

They are motivated by the equity to increase the value of the start-up and its valuation. The value of the shares held also increases with an increase in valuation, offering the possibility of making profits when the shares are sold. In addition, sweat equity may refer to the value added to a property or real estate investment by means of improvements or renovations carried out by the owner rather than by means of a financial investment.

In the initial phase of a company or business, sweat equity share have an important role to play.

1. Cost-effective compensation In the early phases of operation, a business may lack the financial resources to pay expensive salaries to experts. As these specialists need to be repaid for their services, companies pay them by offering company shares that may rise significantly as the firm grows.

2. Employee Retention This type of equity could be an effective tool for companies to retain talented employees or service providers. In return for their contribution, they may have a share in the company, whose value can increase. A lower turnover of staff is ensured by the expectation of a high profit in the long run.

3. Raising capital Sweat equity is an efficient method of raising capital that does not affect the company's current debt. The financial health of the company can be affected by excessively high debt.

Depending on the firm's policies and regulations, the eligibility criteria for sweat equity shares may differ. Companies can, however, seek to have their employees work for the company for a certain period in order to be entitled to that equity compensation. The issuing of such equity could also be based on employee performance or the achievement of specific company objectives. In some cases, sweat equity may be granted only to employees in certain roles or positions.

In order to recognise and reward its employees, directors or other service providers for their participation in the firm, companies grant sweat equity shares. For those who have contributed their time, effort, or intellectual property to the company, these sweat equity shares are at a discount or free of charge.

As the value of the shares increases with the success of the company, companies use them to align the interests of their employees with the interests of the company. This can encourage employees to take on more responsibility and help the company grow. The issuance will allow firms to benefit from the expertise without lowering their capital.

Taxation of Sweat Equity Share If the following conditions are fulfilled, such shares shall be taxable in the hands of employees when they are distributed or transferred:

  1. The shares held by the employee shall be defined under Section 2 of the 1956 Securities Contract Regulation Act.
  2. On or after April 1, 2009, the shares are distributed or transferred. All securities registered or traded before April 1, 2009, shall be subject to the fringe benefit tax.
  3. Current and former employees may receive such shares directly or indirectly.
  4. When a former or current employer grants the shares.
  5. If shares were sold at a discount or free of charge.


A sweat equity share improves the valuation of a company, regardless of its initial financial contribution. In addition, this would increase an individual's ownership of a company and make them interested in its performance. Based on the business need, a sweat equity share can be used for a number of purposes. To invest in the equity market, check out the Kotak Securities app, here you can discover different trades & strategies to trade in the share market.

FAQs on Sweat Equity Share

Overall, investing in equity might be an ideal way of starting your firm without taking on any forms of debt. The fact that there is some risk involved with this should be note and accordingly you can invest in sweat equity share.

A lockup period of 3 years shall apply to sweat equity shares granted to staff and directors from the date on which they are allocated. The employee or director who has been given the shares is not permitted to transfer or sell those shares during the lock period.

The risk of having your equity value less than what you have put in is the biggest downside to sweat equity.

The maximum number of sweat equity shares to be issued shall be 15% of the paid-up equity share capital in one year or INR 5 crore, whichever is higher. At all times, 25 % of paid-up equity capital.

To do the calculation of sweat equity divide the amount of investors' investment by the percentage of equity they represent in order to determine precisely how much sweat equity you need.

Read Full Article >
Enjoy Zero brokerage on ALL Intraday Trades
+91 -