Qualified stock options (a.k.a. incentive stock options)

Qualified stock options, also known as incentive stock options, are a stock option only given to company employees. As a result, they come with preferred tax treatment. Employees pay no tax on qualified stock options when they are granted or exercised. If an employee exercises their options on the stock, they then must hold it for a year to retain its status as a qualified stock option. Unlike non-qualified stock options—which can be issued to anyone inside and outside a company—qualified stock options can’t be claimed as an operating expense.

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No credit checks or founder guarantee, with 10-20x higher limits.
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