I have an option grant I exercised at a pre-IPO company through Carta.com, which shows I have X shares in the company of Common Stock.

The company IPO'd. I didn't sign a lock-up agreement although was asked to.

Now, I want to sell those shares since they are technically publicly traded.

But I have this Carta.com grant on the one hand, which seems to be some kind of electronic certificate, and brokers on the other hand. What is the process of actually making this certificate of common stock liquid?

I don't understand how I get from: "Logging into Carta.com which just shows a certificate" to "USD cash in my bank account."

  • It seems like you are no longer working with that company. Is that so? Have you attempted to use the option that Carta provides, to contact the administrator (typically Finance, HR team)? Apr 25, 2021 at 6:31
  • What's with all these questions suddenly about this "Carta" system ? It sounds totally idiotic ... a near-scam.
    – Fattie
    Apr 26, 2021 at 13:04

2 Answers 2


I don't know anything about Carta, but you probably will need to have them transfer the shares out in-kind (as shares) to a retail brokerage, like Schwab. Then you can just sell them. Make sure to understand the tax implications of doing so.

  • Step one, open a normal, proper, household-name account with a normal stock brokerage. (NOT "robin hood": NOT a fuituristic app! only! "broker", choose a real normal household name company.)

Gather your account details.

  • Step two, pick up phone and call this oddball "Carta" company and tell them you want all your shares ASAP. You'll give them the details of your normal broker. (If they start giving lip about alternatives or why you shouldn't do this, ignore.)

Then you're home free. You can do everything at your normal, real, broker, or simply phone the normal, real, broker and they'll be more than happy to help and do everything you want.

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