How Much Do Startup Founders Make? You Are In For A Surprise

If you’re wondering how much do startup founders make, the answer might surprise you! They can actually make a pretty decent salary, depending on the success of their company.

Of course, there are always a few exceptions to this rule, but startup founders are doing quite well for themselves for the most part.

How much do startup founders make?

The article discusses how much do startup founders make. There is constant debate around startup founder salaries, with some people arguing that they should be paid more given the long hours and sacrifices required, and others saying that they should not be paid as much because their businesses require a lot of resources.

As a startup founder, it is important to consider whether or not paying yourself is the best use of company resources. While taking a salary may be necessary to cover personal expenses, it is also important to reinvest money back into the business to ensure its long-term success. Weighing the pros and cons of paying yourself vs. reinvesting profits back into the business will help you make the best decision for your startup.

This idealistic view believes that startup founders should take risks, and should not be paid unless the company is making a profit. It believes that entrepreneurship is all about uncertainty and that constant compensation can harm the whole idea.

The startup will have less resources to function if founders’ salaries are taken out of the treasury.

This is also partially true. Startup founders do not have the right to a salary, but CEOs do.

In other words, those who have founded a company should not receive salaries, but anyone else on the startup payroll should be compensated. if a founder or cofounder is also the CEO, COO or CTO of their startup, they should still be paid for their work.

You will not be eligible to receive a salary if you have only contributed money or helped during the ideation stage. Instead, you should be eligible for a dividend. If you are an employee, you will be paid a salary.

This accountability measure helps you avoid the temptation to quit midway through a startup’s development due to financial difficulties, or because your job makes it difficult to run the startup smoothly. It takes years for a startup to succeed. Meanwhile, don’t starve yourself.

This will ensure that you are accountable for your future. This helps you avoid the temptation to quit halfway through, whether it’s because you are unable to make ends meet or because your job is making it difficult for the startup’s smooth operation. It takes years for a startup to become financially viable. You can’t starve until then.

If you have any hesitations about taking a salary, get rid of them now and think about how much money you would like to earn.

How Much Should You pay yourself as Startup founder salary?

Once you have figured out how important it is to earn a living, you can calculate the amount. This can be difficult for first-time founders due to the complexity of the deciding elements.

Current state of your cash flow

the amount of cash flow into and out of a business will determine the company’s ability to generate profit. As a founder, your salary is directly tied to the startup’s cash flow and not its profitability.

It is important to consider where the investment came from when determining your salary. This means You need to evaluate where the money is coming from, whether it’s from your personal account, investors, or revenue generated by the company.

As a bootstrapped startup founder, you don’t have to pay for yourself. Making money from your own business can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. With hard work and dedication, you can make your dream a reality.

If you invest $50,000 in a company and decide to pay yourself a salary of $5,000, you will only have $45,000 left in the business. The government will take A portion of the money as taxes. It is better to invest $45,000 and keep the extra $5,000 in your bank account. when your business has enough capital, you may be able to start earning a salary.

As a founder of a startup that has received funding, you may start to receive a payment if you are on the payroll. However, it is important to keep in mind that this compensation may not be comparable to what you would earn at another company. Every dollar you receive can and should be used to grow your business. Therefore, when negotiating your salary, ask for only what you need.

It is important to have an open discussion with your board about what salary you feel is appropriate. You don’t want to ask for too little and appear desperate, or too much and look greedy.

A small salary can make it difficult to feel satisfied and could hinder your productivity. However, a large salary will give you the impression that you are more interested in working for your company than your own money. Find a happy middle ground that works for you and your company.

the amount of funding a company has raised will affect the salary of its founders. According to Seth Levine, a venture capitalist with Foundry Group, companies that raise $500,000 or less are unable to pay their founders more than $75,000, while those raising $1 million can pay them between $75,000 and $125,000.

Businesses that raise between $1 million and $2.5 million usually pay their founders more than $125,000. In general, companies allocate 8 to 12 percent of their funding towards founder salaries.

As a general rule of thumb, it is believed that founders should start small in terms of their salaries, and then increase this amount as their business grows. Click To Tweet

As your startup grows and generates revenue, you may want to consider increasing your salary or providing bonuses and perks. It is best to tie your remuneration to growth milestones so that you can work accordingly. these rewards are important in motivating you and keeping your focus.

Profit-generating startups are a rare sight. Even Amazon and Google took years to become profitable, and even then their founders still received salaries. it is mandatory to pay founder employees just as it is to pay regular employees in a few countries. we see that even founders who give up their salaries also receive a $1 amount.

Current business stage

What stage is your business at? Are you just starting to develop your MVP? Or Are you already running a business?

If you’re still a startup, what early stages Are you in? And if you’re more mature, where Are you at financially – break-even or large enough to embark on an expansion journey?

To determine your salary, you need to first evaluate the current state of your venture. Even though growth-stage startups may generate good revenue, Owners of mature companies are typically able to make more money.

As a startup founder, it is often recommended to keep your salary low at the beginning and increase it after hitting certain milestones or raising additional rounds of funding. However, when making this decision, it is important to also consider the current state of your company.


Industry standards can help set a reasonable pay scale.

To determine your opportunity cost, compare the salaries of employees in similar roles at your competitors’ companies. This will give you an idea of how much money you have sacrificed by starting your own business.

As a startup, your company may not be able to pay you the same amount as a more established competitor. Before deciding on how much your company can afford to pay you, make sure to check its long-term financial statements.

Other factors that determine founder salary

As you probably know, not all entrepreneurs make a lot of money. In 2020, even Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos only made $81,840 in salary. This shift is also evident with famous entrepreneurs like Evan Spiegel, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey earning a $1 salary. However, Mukesh Ambani still earned approximately $596,000.

Although It may seem as though there is no relationship between the revenue generated by a business and remuneration, this is not the case. There is a strong positive correlation. Many other factors can play a role.

What is your current financial status?

The CEOs and founders of large corporations often don’t rely solely on their salaries to earn income. They may also have investments or other revenue-generating activities that bring in money.

In the early stages of fundraising, your current income and expenses will also help determine your salary. It’s not uncommon to see founders with other sources of income being paid less than others. People who have families to support are usually paid more than those who live with roommates or alone.

As a founder of a startup, it is important to do a fair assessment of your sources of income and expenses, including taxes and loans. Seek out ways to cut unnecessary expenses, but don’t expect a luxurious lifestyle. In the early stages of your business, you will likely pay less than you did at previous jobs with large corporations.

Even if the business grows, it may not generate a high salary. Capital gains are what you should aim for, and this can only be achieved through dedication and time investment into the company.

What exactly do you do for your company?

As a founder, you will only receive payment when you work as an employee. However, non-working founders are still entitled to equity and dividends, though this does not provide them with a fixed income every month or week. If your contribution is simply financial or helping during the ideation stage, you will not be given a salary. For that to happen, you must be employed by the business.

It is important to take into account the time you work when calculating your monthly salary. You can calculate your salary by tracking the hours worked per week, or by setting an hourly wage rate.

What is your employee compensation rate?

As mentioned, founders are only paid when they work for the company as employees and not because they founded it. a high founder salary sets a higher standard for other employees.

If you’ve recently raised capital for your business, you may want to consider using some of it for employee development. Offering sweat equity can help motivate employees by ensuring that they’ll be compensated when the company generates returns. However, if employees find out that you’re paying yourself at the same level as industry standards while they work for less in a company they don’t own, it could lead to resentment. This could cause them to lose faith in you or your business.

You should set a lower base salary to be more competitive when hiring new employees. You may also have to pay more if you hire experienced employees who are in high demand.

As a founder, it is important to understand that your salary is not guaranteed to be higher than others in the company, but you can grow your business by being a better worker.

What about taxes?

One of the key factors to consider when drawing a founder’s salary is taxation. the amount of tax you pay will be affected by the amount of your salary, how often you withdraw it, and how frequently. Therefore, it is important to take into account the tax laws of your country when making these decisions.

in the United States, the IRS requires that business owners receive a reasonable salary, even if they could live off of their profits. This is to prevent people from taking advantage of loopholes by extracting dividends that are less taxed. Having too much profit on a balance sheet can also cause unwanted attention, so it’s important to be paid fairly for one’s work.

How to Calculate a startup founder’s salary

These steps will give you an overview of how to do it.

  1. Evaluate your startup’s financial situation to determine if you are eligible to receive a salary.
  2. To calculate your budget, you will need to take into account all sources of income and expenses. This includes taxes. Be sure to create a comprehensive list to get an accurate estimate of your total budget.
  3. To calculate your salary, you will need to determine how much money you will need to make ends meet on a weekly, monthly, or possibly bi-weekly basis.
  4. It is important to set realistic goals to receive a raise or bonus. Keep track of your progress to ensure you are meeting the required milestones.
  5. As the founder or CEO of a mature business, your remuneration should be composed of a healthy mix between salary, work-based bonuses, equity, and other options. This should include tax and salary baseline with the assistance of an accountant.


So, how much do startup founders make? Be sure to consider all of the factors before deciding on your salary. This will help you avoid any future problems.