Restricted Stock Agreement Vesting

Restricted Stock Agreement Vesting: Understanding the Basics

As an employee, being awarded restricted stock is a great way to feel valued by your employer. It is a type of compensation that gives you ownership of a certain number of shares of your company`s stock. However, the process of vesting can be complicated and confusing for many employees. In this article, we will explore the basics of restricted stock agreement vesting to help you understand the process.

What is Restricted Stock Agreement Vesting?

When an employer awards you restricted stock, it means that they have given you a certain number of shares of their company`s stock, but you cannot sell or transfer the shares until they are vested. Vesting is a process that determines when you have full ownership of the shares awarded to you.

A restricted stock agreement vesting schedule outlines the specific period during which the shares will vest. The schedule is usually determined by your employer and can vary depending on the terms of the agreement. The vesting schedule can be based on time, performance, or a combination of both.

How Does Restricted Stock Vesting Work?

Restricted stock vesting schedules can be based on a time-based or performance-based structure. A time-based vesting schedule means that you must remain with the company for a certain period before the shares are fully vested. For example, if you are awarded 1,000 shares of restricted stock with a three-year vesting period, you will not have full ownership of the shares until three years have passed.

On the other hand, a performance-based vesting schedule means that the shares vest based on certain performance milestones or targets. Performance goals can be set by your employer and may include metrics such as revenue growth, earnings per share, or customer satisfaction. Once you meet the performance requirements, the shares will vest.

What Happens When Restricted Stock Vest?

Once the shares have vested, you have full ownership of the shares and can sell or transfer them at your discretion. You will be responsible for paying taxes on the value of the shares at the time they vest. Whether you choose to keep the shares or sell them, vesting is an important milestone in the process of receiving restricted stock.


Restricted stock agreement vesting can be a complicated process, but it is important to understand how it works. If you are offered restricted stock as part of your compensation package, be sure to carefully review and understand the vesting schedule outlined in the agreement. Additionally, consulting with a financial advisor can help you make informed decisions regarding your restricted stock. With a clear understanding of restricted stock agreement vesting, you can make the most of this valuable benefit.