Questions tagged [start-up]

A startup company or startup or start-up is an entrepreneurial venture or a new business in the form of a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

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41
votes
3answers
14k views

How does it work when somebody invests in my business?

Lately I've been curious about how exactly investing in a product works, and I've been thinking about this scenario: Let's say I'm creating some mobile application and I manage to get $1m of ...
31
votes
6answers
7k views

How does start-up equity end up paying off?

Let's say I invest in a startup, either with money, work, etc. In return I am given a 5% stake in the company, but no salary, benefits, etc. When do I see money related to that 5%? Is it only when ...
25
votes
7answers
7k views

Start a business or remain an employee?

I am a web programmer with a family and all the accompanying expenses. I am trying to decide whether to: develop my dream start-up (which will take at least 7 months) with no guarantee of success, ...
22
votes
9answers
34k views

If one owns 75% of company shares, does that mean that he would have to take upon himself 75% of the company's expenses?

There are two founders in a new company that does not have any profit yet and is financed out of their own pockets. One founder owns of 75% shares, and the other one - 25%. There is a need to spend a ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

As an employee, when is it inappropriate to request to see your young/startup company's financial statements?

If you work for a young company, equity in the form of restricted stock or options is often a form of compensation and a way to keep you aligned with the company's goals. But as a new employee you ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Taxes: what do I do about getting a w2 from a startup that has gone belly up in the US?

Last year (2012) I worked for a startup through May before moving on. Between May and now (March 2013) I have moved twice. Neither time did I think to update the old employer so that they could send ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

How to compute worth of my equity?

I am a newly appointed consultant to a startup. I work in another organization which forbids me to receive any salary for being a consultant. However, I am allowed to have an equity. The startup ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

Greedy shareholder that does not want to dilute his portion [closed]

What needs to be done or could be done if a company wants to raise capital and one of the shareholders doesn't want to dilute his shares and brands all the others as "too greedy". The shareholders ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What should I look at before investing in a start-up?

A friend from college (and middle school and elementary school, for that matter) has talked to me a little about his company, a start-up working on technology tangentially related to Internet ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How did Theranos have any value at all?

Theranos, an infamous case of a tech startup gone bad, was valued at over 9 billion dollars for audacious claims of revolutionizing the blood-testing industry. The trouble is, it had done so with ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Can my US company buy my foreign company for $1 USD?

I'm a non-US resident and I'm the owner of a Delaware C-corp Inc. I also own a company (equivalent to LLC) in the EU. Although I could "sell" or transfer ownership of my EU company to my US company ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

If a startup receives investment money, does the startup founder/owner actually gain anything?

I am a bit confused on this topic. You hear a lot of stories now on how startup X received X million dollar from X VC firm. But I'm unsure whether the owners of the startup are actually 'making money' ...
8
votes
1answer
223 views

Regulations regarding investing in a private business

There have been a couple of years where, after maxing out contributions to retirement accounts, I've had some disposable money left over that I'd like to invest in something other than publicly traded ...
7
votes
1answer
353 views

What is a good asset allocation for a 24 year old planning to do a startup?

I am planning to quit my current job and do a tech startup. How should I invest my savings of ~$210K? Assume that a fixed amount X = $2000 gets withdrawn per month and the aim is to maximize the ...
6
votes
2answers
338 views

Is having a 'startup fund' a good idea?

I am a very passionate about saving money and also starting a business. Is saving money and having a startup fund a good idea? Note: I am asking because startups are super risky and 99% of the times ...
6
votes
2answers
306 views

What are the most common partner equity distribution for startups?

Background I'm doing some due diligence regarding a US registered (Delaware C-corp) tech startup in Europe, where the founders are located and living in the EU. Although the business idea is very ...
6
votes
2answers
397 views

Is this formula accurate for weighing the difference between an S-Corp and LLC?

I have been doing much research before deciding on a S-Corp or LLC for an online start-up (2 people, software as a service). I've read lots of explanations of the two and their differences and I've ...
6
votes
1answer
338 views

Prevented from Rolling Over 401k Due to Company Audit - Legal?

A few months back, the startup my wife works for was bought out by a big company. Everyone was thrilled, of course, and it was a great moment for the whole team. Soon after the logistics of the ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Tax deduction for stuff I bought before LLC was formed?

I bought $10,000 worth of materials (with my personal credit card) for a new business. I formed a domestic LLC (USA) about 3 weeks later. Can I "sell" or "transfer" this startup cost to my LLC (which ...
5
votes
8answers
837 views

Why is it ever a good idea to found a company?

I have a side project with a few friends that's gradually getting more serious. We're nearly at the stage where we'll be taking some early clients, which is really exciting after about a year of ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to invest in drones?

I expect the drones will be in the nearby future something very usual to our daily environment. Therefore I am wondering what is the best way to be invested into drones? Are there any trusts/funds to ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Are companies like EquityZen legitimate and useful?

There are a list of companies claiming to provide liquidation for employees who have ISOs in private startups but don't have the means to exercise them (because of the ridiculous amount of phantom tax ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Claiming business expenses for a business with no income

I'm currently working on a web application on the side to turn into a business one day. I probably spend upwards of 20-30 hours a week working on it (I would like to spend more but not ready to quit ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

How to transfer personal earnings to a company

Say I work in the US and am using my personal earnings to bootstrap a small company. What is the proper way to transfer my personal wages into the company account? Do I just cut my company a check? ...
4
votes
2answers
485 views

Is it possible to make money off of a private company?

I have been made aware of a UK company that I think will be extremely profitable in the next year or two. It is currently privately held and they compete for market share with Intel and NVidia. Is ...
4
votes
6answers
924 views

How much is a founder allowed to dilute stock? [closed]

I am 9 days away from completing a contract for a new start up that still has yet to raise money. At the beginning I negotiated 1% of the company, and a month into the contract he incorporated the ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

How did Bloomberg keep such a high share of his company?

From internet sources, Michael Bloomberg owns 90% of Bloomberg L.P., which is an insanely high percentage. How did he manage to create such a major company while retaining almost complete ownership?
4
votes
2answers
321 views

Should I accept shares as payment?

My possible future employer offered to pay me in shares of the startup I would join. He dropped sentences like "brutto equals netto" and "We can pay you more in shares than in cash". Obviously there ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

As a shareholder in a private company that was acquired, what's the transaction date for my capital gains?

I'm a common shareholder in a US private company acquired in Nov 2017 by a US public company. I'm planning to wait until Jan 2018 to exchange my shares for cash+stock in the acquirer. (The M&A ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Perform exercise-and-hold AND exercise-and-sell-to-cover?

Suppose I was granted 100,000 shares of ISO stock in a startup in the US with a strike price of $1/share and current valuate of $1.25/share. These shares are 100% vested when I leave the company and I ...
3
votes
1answer
701 views

Can I account for start-up costs that occur before incorporation?

I'm starting an LLC with a couple of partners. But before we incorporate we need to finalize a partnership agreement. I would like to initiate a few time-sensitive things such as a patent search ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How can someone invest in areas that require you to be an accredited investor [without qualifying as an accredited investor]?

I have some money that I would like to invest. I have some money invested in the stock market and I have found some other places I'd like to invest as well, but it seems that many places require that ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Transfer of stock of non-public company after vesting

Suppose an employee of a non-public company has "some" stock options. Can that person, after vesting, generally transfer the ownership of some of those (exercised) shares to another party? I want to ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Where should I start my LLC?

I want to release an iPhone app to the App Store and want to put my company name as the app's "seller" field. I was thinking of starting an LLC because I'm working alone and want to hire a developer. ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

When offered options as part of a package from a 2 year old startup, how is the strike price derived?

When startups hire new senior people I understand that it is common practice to offer options, often over a period of 4 years. However, the actual value of these options will depend highly on the ...
2
votes
2answers
434 views

What ways can an employee keep the upside of stock options after leaving?

Suppose that you work at some private company and that company offers some stock options to you as part of employment. For the sake of discussion, suppose they offer 100 000 options at $0.50 an option,...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When should I exercise my startup stock options? How would it be taxed?

Let's say I'm an employee at a startup where I own fully vested stock options. Scenario 1 I have not exercised my stock options and my startup was bought. Do I still get to exercise my options? The ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Profiting from the PWC Money Tree

I'll start off by saying I have very little investment experience. So I'd like this to be more of a discussion than a typical question/answer post. Today I learned about the Pricewaterhouse Coopers ...
2
votes
1answer
279 views

How can I reduce my tax liability on proceeds from the sale of a company?

My (Canadian) company is about to be sold and as one of the first employees I'm expecting a significant payout from options (e.g. $2M !). That sounds like an incredible amount of money, but this is ...
2
votes
2answers
328 views

What is the best way for me to invest my money into my own startup?

I've started a company with a friend, and we're looking to find out how to transfer some of our money into the company. Several sources suggest that, since we're the only owners so far and there's no ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there any other benefits to exercising EMI stock options straight away vs. as late as possible? (UK)

Once my options vest, according to the EMI scheme I have ten years to exercise them. I'm weighing up the pros and cons of exercising exactly at the point they vest versus leaving it to the last ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

100% Ownership and 30% profit to sale director

I am seeking understanding. I 100% own a new service-based tech company. My business is registered as an LLC. I am about to launch and I seek to make sales, yet I don't have the resources to pay staff ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

Salary raise: before or after the spin-off / investment?

I have not much experience in dealing with shares, startups and spin-offs and hope for some advice. I work for a company as an "intrapreneur" for my own project but for a salary like a normal employee....
2
votes
1answer
188 views

Is US citizenship and/or residence requirement for “accredited investor” status?

I've been reading about founders fund, and i'm wondering (since this is not listed anywhere in the documentation) - is it possible for a non-US resident or citizen to participate?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Generic Private Stock Purchase Agreement - Establishing Basis With IRS

I worked with another guy on a startup in 2015 for about a month. I am no longer at the startup but I agreed to fork over my intellectual property developed during that time in exchange for 10,000 ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How does a Non US citizen gain SEC Accredited Investor Status?

I am interested in investing in Startups via Angellist or other similar programs. How do Companies and individuals not based in the United States become a qualified Accredited Investor by the SEC? ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Equity vs Stock options?

I am a co-founder of a startup in the UK, the other co-founder wants to give me options instead of % equity because he believes when I eventually exit I will pay less tax and the company will too and ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

When does the clock start for capital gains treatment on an angel investment?

I made an investment in a startup company last year. I sent the wire transfer on August 4. I have a legal document from the company entitling me to X number of shares on September 1, but my shares ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

RSU or regular stock awards

I am a new "key employee" (VP level) with a startup biotechnogy company. In the letter of offer the company is awarding stock options. Is it better to get RSUs or regular stock awards or both at ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Transfer of Indian rupee account funds to UAE to open business

How can I transfer from my rupee account in India a sum of Rupees 25 lacs to my UAE bank account, for investment purposes for starting my own business.