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Definition of 4 Years with a 1-Year Cliff

4 years with a 1-year cliff describes a common vesting schedule that startups use. Translated, this means that a startup employee who has been granted equity subject to this vesting schedule would vest 25% of their equity after 1 year (the cliff), and would vest the remaining 75% of their equity over the next 3 years, assuming the service provider stays with the startup the entire time. The end result after 4 years of continuous service is that the employee would be fully vested.

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