What is an average salary for a founding member of a startup? I realise many don't take any salary at all the first few months, but those who do?
Clarification: I'm swedish, so I mostly care about startup salaries in Sweden or EU, but US ones will still help. Also, I'm thinking about starting companies in the area of SaaS, apps or similar.
In the US, as a founder you don't take any salary until the seed round. This is the "sweat equity" that is part of being a founder. Once you get a seed round, you usually take a small salary to help pay the bills but that is typically it. And all the founders generally get the same small amount. But once you get Series A funding you can start to expect to be paid a real salary commensurate with your role, experience, location etc. Hard to give exact numbers because it can be quite different by role and location.
Anything from a lot to nothing. Depends on your business model and the product/service you are selling. If you have a lot of cashflow and funding then it is probably good to take into account of your own salary in the financials, but there is expectation that you might live on your savings until major milestones are reached because the money should go to where it is needed the most.
I would think of it in the same way as a private business owner - pay yourself last since you are the least likely person to leave if you don't get paid.
After talking with several start-up owners, and also starting my own company, what I would recommend is: all the money you are taking away from the company, is money that could be spent with something to make it grow faster. The longer you can get without removing money from business (or at least keep it in a minimum), you might have success faster. Remember, however, that you should conciliate your expenses and the business profit