If you have a sharp team that’s working well together, especially in tech, you might sell your company in an acquihire — even if you have yet to ring up your first dollar of sales. The tech hiring market is so tight that acquihires have become a common way for big companies to staff up quickly.

➡️In an acquihire, the buyer primarily wants your team. They might also be interested in the solution your team has created, even if it’s only half-built, and be willing to offer some cash payouts that help you maximize the value of the acquihire. But the heart of the deal is a set of employment contracts for founders and key team members.

➡️In essence, your team is the deal in an acquihire. That means retaining your team while you negotiate this deal, and convincing them to join the acquiring company’s staff and stay on, are vital to your sale.

They Got Acquired talked to experts and founders including myself with experience in acquihires who all have differing views on the best approach to ensuring your team stays on board.

Here’s a look at their views on the 5 essential elements you need to retain your team in an acquihire.