Investments · Fundraising

Who picks up the bill? The investor or the entrepreneur?

Bogdan Mirkac Electronic engineer / business development manager

September 28th, 2016

This will be in the case of a dinner being arranged by both parties where the main discussion is a potential investment in the entrepreneur’s company.

David M

September 28th, 2016

Personally, I offer to pay for my own. I don't ask or expect the investor to pay and I don't pay for his/hers. If the investor feels entitled by gracing your presence I would find another investor. Likely the investor will pick up the check, at which point I would ask how much you owe. I don't see a problem with allowing and stating your appreciation at that point though.

Just don't say "If I had known you were paying I would have ordered the filet and lobster" :)

Jacob Kojfman Experienced technology and corporate lawyer, focusing on SAAS

September 28th, 2016

General etiquette is that whomever did the inviting should pick up the bill...

Joe Walling CTO, software developer, software architect

September 28th, 2016

As Jacob said "General etiquette is that whomever did the inviting should pick up the bill". However, keep in mind the law of reciprocity. I like buying lunch for others... especially if they are in a position to help me.

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

September 28th, 2016

In the normal course, people looking for money wine and dine VCs and potential investors.  Some but not all VCs will invite you for a meal, but it is the exception not the rule. If you are doing the inviting, which I don't recommend, expect to spend what it takes. You are trying to make a favorable impression. But teh food or the restaurant does not sell the deal. Its the conversation, so pick some place quiet, where you can make your pitch and answer questions. 

Ema Chuku Product Developer. Founder.

September 28th, 2016

Stick with caffe meetup for potentials (VC). Dinner meet ups should be saved for "sure-thing" deals.

That way you wouldn't be so focused on worrying about the tab when you both are ordering food in a caffe.

For "sure thing" dinners, you can pay and expense it.

Laura Oliphant Business Development and Venture Capital Professional

September 28th, 2016

First rule of startups:  make the VC pay.  Seriously, this was one of my tests on the frugality of a startup, if you were too quick with the check, you might be too quick with the check in other instances...

Giri Amarakone Next generation Cognitive Engine for Natural Language Applications

September 28th, 2016

I suspect it depends on two things.
1) Size of the companies  - In business the larger always take the bill the reverse will look like a bribe.
2) Who invited the other  - If you badly needs someone's time the least you can do it to feed them.

A small startup should never have to pay for a VC dinner bill.   Focus should be on getting customers not VCs.  IMO.

Sidney Sclar SID the SECURITY PRO at

September 28th, 2016

Survey says, the one that does the inviting and the place is the one that generally pays the bill. When in doubt, go the restroom and ask for the bill.

Jun Jin I'm an investor searching for a genuine business partner who needs capital to run a lucrative busin

May 17th, 2017


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Arthur Lipper Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.

September 28th, 2016

Either the investor should pay or possibly split the bill payment.