I send in the invoice? Are the payment terms net-10, net-30, or longer?
Do I need to break out sick or vacation days as its own line item? What about the deductions?"
If you are having difficulty grasping this - you should not work for an early stage startup that is pre-funding. You are expecting very standard 'employeeship'.
If you are an 'employee' of the company - yes - you are required to be paid with W2's etc. - of course.
But if you're not obligated to be an employee of a company to accept equity - or other kinds of payment for services rendered.
As far as 'invoicing' - either you're being sarcastic or you've never done such a thing. You send an invoice, and you get paid. You have to claim it yourself in terms of taxation. As far as 'terms' - I'm hoping you are kidding. Either you get paid or you don't.
The company in this article I think was well past the time wherein they should have had had payroll set up - no doubt about it.
At the same time - it's absurd how confused many of you seem to be about the simple mechanics of getting paid.
You do not need a payroll system (i.e. W2s) while you are in the most early stages of a company.
There is no special exception for startups where employee salaries are exempt from payroll taxes. It is also illegal for a company to pay you as a contractor when you are really an employee. What you propose sounds exactly like breaking the law.
Also, a company which proposes this arrangement takes on the liability that the 1099 contractor could come back in the future and sue for the taxes and benefits that a W2 employee would have received. That happened to Microsoft a few years ago.
I was giving you a chance to demonstrate that this practice is common and that you know what you are talking about.
However, given your posting history I should have expected continued blustering where you demean others for lack of knowledge. Why, just the other day you said that I, spouse of an Army vet who did two tours in Iraq, didn't have exposure to family members in the military. Now you say that I, employee of two startups and founder of two more, have no startup experience.
No one in this thread says a startup company needs a payroll system. The question is about paystubs for employees, which the employer can even do by hand.
You should really talk to an HR/tax attorney before you continue to spread misinformation.