The Guide to Tax Returns for Seed-Stage Companies

This initial team is key to developing the product, establishing basic business operations, and setting the stage for future growth. Startups in this stage may value around $150 million to $300 million are able to raise approximately $100 million during this startup funding stage. To scale your startup significantly, you can acquire different startups with the Series C funding.

Pre-seed funding is the earliest stage in the funding cycle of a startup, allowing startup founders to turn their idea into a tangible business. The pre-seed stage comes before a seed round and before any series funding rounds (e.g., Series A, B, C, etc.). After the pre-seeding stage, it’s time to actually plant the seed. Almost 29 percent of startups fail because they run out of capital while bootstrapping, which makes seed capital critical to get a business up and running. Adding to what Jonathan said, the pre-seed funding stage allows a budding startup to build and distribute their product(s) or service(s) effectively.

The Series D funding stage allows entrepreneurs to raise funds for a special situation. For instance, a merger and also if it has not yet hit its growth goal. Startups that are eligible for seed funding have a business that values anywhere between $3 million to $6 million. The seed funding stage will facilitate funding from $50,000 up to $3 million for a promising startup. During the pre-seed funding stage, startups value anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000.

  1. In fact, they don’t harass you with bad news over the phone—they’ll send you notifications via mail, and they’re probably not out to get you for income tax evasion (at least, we hope not!).
  2. The goal isn’t to simply wow everyone who demos your product; it’s to glean insight into how it can be better and more useful for your target audience.
  3. After securing the funding, focus on using the funds effectively to reach the milestones you’ve set.
  4. If you choose to work with Kruze, most seed stage startups can expect to pay $1,500 for a federal and one state return.
  5. The IRS puts this on its list of “dirty dozen” tax scams for a reason – Startups do not get seed money from the U.S.
  6. Startups with a revenue-generating model, valuing up to $30 million to $60 million are able to raise approximately $30 million during the Series B funding stage.

The IRS says that expenses have to be “normal and necessary” for you to be able to claim them and deduct them from your taxes. If you or other shareholders have given the business money or spent personal money on its behalf, put these costs in the correct category so each shareholder can be paid back. If you need help deciding what to do, you can ask your tax preparer at any time during the year (especially at tax time). Anyone handling a venture capital check will want to examine your returns to confirm that your company is a great bet and that the money they invest in your business won’t be wasted or spent on penalties and fines. Each of these factors can influence investor perceptions of risk and opportunity, ultimately affecting the amount of capital a startup can raise during its pre-seed funding round. Before you choose to raise pre-seed funding, get the basics of this early-stage funding round down with this guide on what you need to know and how to raise pre-seed funding from angel investors and beyond.

Great Companies Need Great People. That’s Where We Come In.

A compelling pitch deck is crucial for presenting your idea succinctly and effectively to potential investors. It should clearly convey your business idea, the market opportunity, your unique value proposition, and the potential return on investment. Because the investors are taking a huge risk by investing in the business, startups must provide them equity against seed fundings. The stakes are even higher because, at this stage, startups cannot guarantee a successful business model.

If you haven’t accomplished any of the above, then you’re not ready for the Series C funding yet. Startups with a good business plan valuing up to $10 million to $30 million are able to raise approximately $15 million during the Series A funding stage. Corporation Income Tax Return, is the federal form that every C corporation must file. You’ll also have to fill out state and local forms specific to your business’s location and situation.

At the pre-seed funding stage, the startup is often in its infancy, sometimes not more than a concept or a basic prototype. The primary focus during this phase is on developing the idea, conducting research, building a prototype or minimal viable product (MVP), and laying the groundwork for the business structure. At DocSend, our aggregated view of pitch decks from the seed stage reveals trends that outline the importance of nailing traction regardless of industry. For example, investors spent 78 percent more time on average reviewing the traction slides for companies they choose not to invest in. They are giving extra scrutiny to companies that either didn’t show enough traction or didn’t make a compelling enough case.

The series B funding stage allows startups to grow so that they can meet the various demands of their customers and also compete in tight markets in terms of competition. Startups should consider raising pre-seed funding primarily to validate their business idea, develop a minimum viable product (MVP), and lay the foundational elements of their business. This stage is crucial for entrepreneurs who have a business concept but need to assess its viability in the real world. Pre-seed funding enables them to conduct thorough market research, create prototypes, and test their products or services with early users.

Uncle Sam gives you a call or shows up at your door expecting immediate payment of back taxes…or else he cuffs you and takes you away. Do remember that in order to gain funding, startups must be mature enough to qualify for a specific funding round. Also, If a startup was unable to achieve its growth landmark with series C funds, then it will find a need to get more funds through series D funding to keep afloat. A startup may consider series D funding if it hasn’t gone public yet, but is contemplating a merger with a competitor on agreeable terms. The Series D funding offers startups the most viable solutions allowing them to negotiate issues head-on by acquiring another startup as a merger. “Now is a better time than ever for emerging businesses to apply for the funding they need to accelerate their growth,” said Marz Ayyad, EMEA Lead at NetSuite PE & VC Practice.

What will it cost to have a professional prepare my startup tax return?

Profit and loss metrics, awards, customer testimonials or product reviews can each demonstrate to investors that your ideas are connecting to the marketplace beyond the initial testing and idea phase. These milestones are typically available at the product stage, and represent proof points that investors need to see to understand how your product is performing with users in your market. This step is critical because understanding your audience is how you understand what part of the marketplace your idea is likely to generate value — which in turn makes your company a good investment. Many times, I’ve seen founders try to cast a much wider net regarding who their customer is in order to show a larger market or demand, but this will come back to haunt you.

Remember that you could miss out on up to $250,000 in benefits if you mess up, which could significantly increase your company’s burn rate. We also notice companies file Delaware state returns when they don’t need to or fail to file returns in a state when they should. The biggest mistakes our founder clients make are needing more time to be ready, starting the process too late, and not having the company’s paperwork and books in order. For early stage startups, your likelihood of getting audited by the IRS is very low – 1% or less for most seed stage companies.

Potential Investors for Series A

In simple terms, it means using your own existing resources in order to scale your startup. Startup owners invest from their own pocket and try to grow themselves in the most resourceful manner. The startup funding rounds have transformed the business landscape completely, over the past few years.

Under the existing tax rules, businesses can use past losses to offset future taxes. If you ever become successful, you can easily use your 2021 losses to offset part of your future tax is the irs giving seed stage startups liabilities in good years. The goal isn’t to simply wow everyone who demos your product; it’s to glean insight into how it can be better and more useful for your target audience.

By now, your startup operations have become less risky whereas more investors are coming in to play. Many hedge funds, investment banks, private equity firms etc. will happily invest in your startup during the Series C stage. Before we discuss ins and outs of each funding stage, here’s an overview of major startup funding stages. The most crucial tip for handling expenses is to make sure that all business expenses that are tax deductible are recorded in your accounting system and that personal expenses are kept separate. Ask your tax preparer if you have specific questions about grouping expenses or if an unavoidable expense counts as a business expense.

What do I need to do to finish my startup tax return?

Fundraising demand is at an all-time high — and increasingly, VCs are aiming to get an early stake in promising startups. Accounts payable (AP) is money owed by a business to its suppliers shown as a liability on a company’s balance sheet. IPO is the process of offering corporate shares to the general public for the first time. Find different ways to show validation and think outside the box. For example, if an industry analyst isn’t covering your product category, convince them to do so or commission your own research.


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