What is your core purpose? Why are you doing this? It could be as simple as: I want to be my own boss and be in charge of the decision-making of my company. I want to create a company where parents can have a healthy work-life balance. I want to make healthcare accessible to everyone. I want to be the first company to make virtual candies… Don’t ask yourself how you are going to do this; that will come with time. If early on you can understand why you want to do this, you will always be able to hold on to that and it will guide you.
Funnel optimization is where you experiment with different elements of the user experience to reduce and remove points of confusion. This may involve testing landing pages, calls-to-action, the user onboarding process, and any other key actions users take as they learn how to use your product. It’s done with the intention of optimizing for activation, conversion and retention.
“We knew acquisition was the best course of action,” says [Evan] Graj. That eventually led to Dine In being approached in February by a major Internet company active in the online food space, and it’s my understanding that by April — and significant legal fees later — a sale had been agreed. Then at the eleventh hour the deal unexpectedly fell through, leaving the restaurant delivery startup “high and dry” and its unnamed acquirer a “no-show”. Adds Graj: “They backed out leaving us with a huge legal bill both for Dine In and myself personally, a huge debt to note holders, and no VCs to turn to. A hard lesson to learn and one I’ll be taking into my next venture.”

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For contracts issued before June 9, 1997, you can’t deduct the premiums on a life insurance policy covering you, an employee, or any person with a financial interest in your business if you are directly or indirectly a beneficiary of the policy. You are included among possible beneficiaries of the policy if the policy owner is obligated to repay a loan from you using the proceeds of the policy. A person has a financial interest in your business if the person is an owner or part owner of the business or has lent money to the business.

Consumer complaints regarding international scams can be reported online through Econsumer.gov. These are also entered into Consumer Sentinel, the complaint database maintained by the FTC, and are made available to enforcers and regulators in countries with participating agencies. Those agencies may use the complaints to investigate cross-border issues, uncover new scams, pursue regulatory or enforcement actions, and spot consumer trends.
I like to joke that the dumbest business model for a professional services firm is to spread one's time and effort among a large number of small clients with limited cash, sporadic workflow, extra cost sensitivity, and a propensity to go out of business. That said, the rewards of working with startups and entrepreneurs are as unique as founders themselves.
You can’t take the deduction for any month you were eligible to participate in any employer (including your spouse's) subsidized health plan at any time during that month, even if you didn’t actually participate. In addition, if you were eligible for any month or part of a month to participate in any subsidized health plan maintained by the employer of either your dependent or your child who was under age 27 at the end of 2017, don’t use amounts paid for coverage for that month to figure the deduction.

He explained that Fab, a company that had been valued at $900 million just three months previously, was about to change drastically. Two-thirds of the company needed to be fired. Its European division would more or less be shuttered. The company had burned $200 million of the $336 million it had raised, and it had failed to find a sustainable business model.
Reforestation costs are generally capital expenditures. However, you can elect to deduct up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately; $0 for a trust) of qualifying reforestation costs paid or incurred after October 22, 2004, for each qualified timber property. The remaining costs can be amortized over an 84-month period. For information about amortizing reforestation costs, see chapter 8.

Although companies refer to startup costs using varying terms, including preopening costs, preoperating costs, organization costs, and startup costs, financial accounting standards refer to these costs only as startup costs (ASC Paragraph 720-15-15-3). For financial accounting purposes, a business must expense startup costs as incurred (ASC Paragraph 720-15-25-1). Example 1 shows the financial accounting treatment of these costs.
You can elect to deduct only the costs of items with no salvage value. These include wages, fuel, repairs, hauling, and supplies related to drilling wells and preparing them for production. Your cost for any drilling or development work done by contractors under any form of contract is also an IDC. However, see Amounts paid to contractor that must be capitalized , later.
Then there are the necessary permits and legal requirements. You’ll need to apply for a federal brewing permit with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Although the application doesn’t cost anything, it’s usually takes four months to process, according to Matthew Cordell and Derek Allen, who have advised several startup breweries in North Carolina for legal firm Ward and Smith, P.A.
The rules for section 197 intangibles do not apply to any amount that is included in determining the cost of property that is not a section 197 intangible. For example, if the cost of computer software is not separately stated from the cost of hardware or other tangible property and you consistently treat it as part of the cost of the hardware or other tangible property, these rules do not apply. Similarly, none of the cost of acquiring real property held for the production of rental income is considered the cost of goodwill, going concern value, or any other section 197 intangible.
From Quirky to Homejoy to Zen99, we’ve added 11 startup post-mortems to the 34 we previously added in our first 2015 update. While unicorns continue to be minted and mega rounds continue, there are still many new lessons to be learned from startups facing risks as they navigate the turbulent contract worker economy or failing to acquire customers. The 11 new additions, below.
On the Friday before Labor Day, Village Voice staffers found out the paper was being shut down. According to Gothamist, the paper’s owner, Peter Barbey, told the staff in a phone call that “due to the business realities, we’re going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Some staff members are being retained to “wind things down” and migrate the Voice’s archive online. The rest have been let go.
During the shake-out phase, sales continue to increase, but at a slower rate, usually due to either approaching market saturation or the entry of new competitors in the marketThreat of New EntrantsThe Threat of New Entrants refers to the threat that new competitors pose to current players within an industry. It is one of the forces that shape the competitive landscape of an industry and helps determine its attractiveness. Other forces are competitive rivalry, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitutes,. Sales peak during the shake-out phase. Although sales continue to increase, profit starts to decrease in the shake-out phase. This growth in sales and decline in profit represents a significant increase in costs. Lastly, cash flow increases and exceeds profit.

A manager with the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that there had been several rounds of layoffs in recent weeks, but that a plan to sell the company gave remaining employees hope their jobs would remain intact. The employee said a deal fell through and the company had been “bleeding money” the past several weeks.
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Our foundational structure of startup assessment is the startup lifecycle. Understanding where a startup is in their lifecycle allows us to assess their progress. The startup lifecycle is made of 6 stages of development, where each stage is made up of levels of substages. This creates a directed tree structure and allows for more granular assessment by being able to pinpoint the main drivers of progress at each stage.

Failure was brutal, had to lay off everyone, and some people weren't in great financial situations. I was out of cash personally (our newborn daughter stayed way too long in the newborn intensive care unit, and I ended up taking out $11k in debt to get some of our employees on their feet). That part was terrifying with no job offers. I lived in the middle of nowhere and had no job prospects.


New businesses, which are vital to a healthy economy, usually incur costs before they begin active conduct of their intended business operations. These costs are frequently generically referred to as startup costs of a business. Typical examples of these costs include expenditures to investigate whether to create or acquire a particular business and, for a business operated through a partnership or corporation, the organization costs to form the entity; however, costs incurred before a business begins active operations can include a wide variety of types of costs.

Failures are stepping-stones to success and behind every failure, there are lessons learnt, experiences had, that provide one with wisdom that stays with them for a lifetime. A successful journey is often marked by failures along the way and one only reaches the destination when he/she continues to carry on with the journey. This is the necessary ingredient to get over a failure be it a startup or anything major in life, never give up.  For Rahul Agarwal, Director of Wealth Discover, startups in most cases are ideas that are very sound on the paper but the actual implementation is tricky. Often founders jump onto an idea without proper planning and budgeting.
« Eloquens is the place to go to get tested financial models to be used in your business. Why reinvent the wheel again and again? So much time is wasted when we have to go back to the drawing board time after time. The benefits of being a user of Eloquens are the broad tool library and the networking opportunities with authors who are at the top of their game. For those that have developed tools you can sell/share them as an author to a wide community of users. I highly recommend Eloquens for anyone in the financial industry! »

Sec. 174(a)(1) allows research and experimental expenditures to be deducted or amortized only if incurred in connection with a trade or business. Many entrepreneurs incur such expenses before they actually form a business and can never deduct or amortize the expenses. Incorporating and starting the business before making the expenditures supports a trade or business connection and shows that business activities have commenced. The definition of research costs is included in Sec. 41 and the regulations issued under that section, including Regs. Sec. 1.41-4.
What’s Raghunandan G.’s cardinal rule for a founder exiting a startup? Don’t rush into another venture, even if you feel the crushing weight of other people’s expectations. Raghunandan, co-founder of TaxiForSure, which was acquired by cab aggregator Ola in 2015, explains: “When you are running a fast-growing company, there is no time to reflect on a problem you may want to solve with your next startup. So it’s not advisable to immediately jump into something new.”

Check the preparer’s history. You can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if a preparer has a questionable history. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents (EAs), go to IRS.gov/Tax-Professionals/Verify-the-Status-of-an-Enrolled-Agent and follow the instructions for requesting EA status verification.


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The Startup Autobahn program is unique not only in the fact that its partners are some of the largest automotive companies and innovators, but also that we are given a direct entry point into these partners through the work of key contacts in each partner organization, working on specifically real-life pilot projects. This contact helps us engage with the correct contact in each partner and serves as an invaluable mentor during the entire process. With each new contact we are consistently grateful for the guidance and support we have been given, it is unparalleled across other programs. In addition, due to the three month time period, it allows for time to truly make a real and bilateral commitment from both us and the partner organizations. This type of commitment does not happen in most other accelerator programs.
You can deduct specific bad debts that become partly uncollectible during the tax year. Your tax deduction is limited to the amount you charge off on your books during the year. You do not have to charge off and deduct your partly worthless debts annually. You can delay the charge off until a later year. However, you can’t deduct any part of a debt after the year it becomes totally worthless.
For me, when I founded my other company Due, my goal was to have one of the best invoicing platforms for small businesses. My intent, however, was to provide a platform that could help freelancers and small businesses grow. We’ve been able to do this by continuing to add new features and publish daily content that assists businesses in improving their business.
We could have gone about trying to fix Meetro but the team was just ready to move on. Raising money on the flat growth we had was nearly impossible. Plus I knew that in order to keep the tight-knit team we had built together, we needed to shift focus for sanity sake. People (myself included) just felt beat up. We knew that fixing these issues would involve a complete rearchitecturing of the code, and people just weren’t excited about the idea enough anymore to do it right.
The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so. Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual Dirty Dozen list of tax scams for the 2017 filing season.
Many creators with millions of subscribers on YouTube and Facebook were initially attracted to Vidme’s model, but faced difficulty transitioning audiences from their home platforms. Convincing people to use (and keep using) a new platform is hard, leaving many creators locked in. Both Facebook and YouTube also actively deprecate content shared from competing platforms (Vidme’s social traffic dropped markedly once Facebook began to prioritize its native player).
You missed a good one that people rarely talk about – Kestrel Solutions, backed by Carlyle, Fidelity, Credit Suisse First Boston, BankAmerica Ventures and more. My understanding is they blew through over $300M without a product that was fully deployed. One of the biggest flame outs that gets no coverage. Management team was largely incompetent. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB948665381942593554
Early research on careers was conducted by men using male participants. There are significant differences in career cycles between men and women. In addition to challenges females face in career progression, women also often experience conflict between split careers as primary carers and professionals.  This can result in women experiencing a revitalized growth and exploration stages in their 40s and 50s when children leave home.
Before Amazon there was Borders, one of the largest pre-internet era brick and mortar sellers of music and books. Founded by Louis Borders, a man before his time. Necessity being the mother of invention, Louis didn't need a crystal ball to see that the Internet was eating his lunch. P2P tools like Napster were encroaching on music sales and although Bezos' fledgling start up was yet to show a profit, book sales were beginning to decline.
If you recover part of an expense in the same tax year in which you would have claimed a deduction, reduce your current year expense by the amount of the recovery. If you have a recovery in a later year, include the recovered amount in income in that year. However, if part of the deduction for the expense did not reduce your tax, you do not have to include that part of the recovered amount in income.
In Tarighi, the Tax Court concluded the taxpayer wasn’t engaged in a business during 2009 and 2010, because CES didn’t have any income or clients and didn’t bid on any jobs during those years. Though the taxpayer did engage in promotional activities, he didn’t intend to earn a profit in those years, because he didn’t pursue contracts or bid on jobs. 
When Tien returned from her trip, she still didn’t have it quite figured out, and the first job she took (at an auto dealership), she did so because frankly, she “needed income.” It was OK for a while. A self-described people person, Tien explains that she “always enjoyed making people happy, talking to them, and turning their situations around,” so she was able to thrive in the customer service role—at first.

The cost of the depreciable assets can be recovered under Secs. 167 and 168 once active business operations begin (e.g., telephone equipment acquired and used during the startup period is not considered placed in service for depreciation purposes until active business begins). This was the IRS's conclusion in Letter Ruling 9235004. The courts have generally held that the depreciation deduction allowance starts when the intended business begins (Simonson, 752 F.2d 341 (8th Cir. 1985); McManus, T.C. Memo. 1987-457).


For financial accounting purposes, the treatment of costs a business incurs before the beginning of the active conduct of its business operations is relatively straightforward, with all the costs falling into one category and all being treated the same way. However, for tax purposes, things are potentially much trickier, with the various costs possibly falling into several categories that are treated differently. For some of the costs, a taxpayer may have a choice as to how the costs are treated. Thus, it is important to correctly account for startup costs to ensure that the costs are treated appropriately for tax purposes and in the manner that is most beneficial to the taxpayer.
Effective October 1, 2017, the per diem rate for high-cost locations increased to $284 ($68 for M&IE). The rate for all other locations increased to $191 ($57 for M&IE). For October, November, and December 2017, you can either continue to use the rates described in the preceding paragraph or change to the new rates. However, you must use the same rate for all employees reimbursed under the high-low method.

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We aimed to build a great, highly automated user experience first, focusing on the end-users and SMEs with plans to grow into companies from the bottom up (like Skype, Yammer, Dropbox). We couldn’t empathize with big corporations and heard only scary things about the long sales cycles. However, every company we have kept track of in the ‘relationship management’ space has either shut down or moved at least into the B2B space
After 1.5 years in operation, bitphone.net is shutting down. WE DIDN’T GET HACKED, NOT ONCE! And believe me, they tried! All customer funds are secure and accounted for! (And we are happy to say that!) Unfortunately we’ve had too many users abuse our phone service! Our underlying carrier service now requires we collect your identification when placing calls. – We won’t do it … This is an unfortunate outcome, we had recently enhanced our service considerably! We don’t want to collect your identification, so we have no choice but to close the service.
If you receive a below-market gift loan or demand loan, you are treated as receiving an additional payment (as a gift, dividend, etc.) equal to the forgone interest on the loan. You are then treated as transferring this amount back to the lender as interest. These transfers are considered to occur annually, generally on December 31. If you use the loan proceeds in your trade or business, you can deduct the forgone interest each year as a business interest expense. The lender must report it as interest income.
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To figure cost depletion on a bonus, multiply your adjusted basis in the property by a fraction, the numerator of which is the bonus and the denominator of which is the total bonus and royalties expected to be received. To figure cost depletion on advanced royalties, use the calculation explained earlier under Cost Depletion , treating the number of units for which the advanced royalty is received as the number of units sold.

    Do not include payments for any month you were eligible to participate in a long-term care insurance plan subsidized by your or your spouse’s employer or the employer of either your dependent or your child who was under the age of 27 at the end of 2017. If more than one person is covered, figure separately the amount to enter for each person. Then enter the total of those amounts 2.  


Organizational expenses, which are expenses incurred for creating a separate business entity, such as a limited liability company, partnership, or a corporation, are accounted separately, but only if total startup expenses exceed $5000. Although a sole proprietorship may have legal and accounting expenses and expenses for setting up a business, these expenses must be deducted as startup expenses, not as organizational expenses.
This is part of that sketch process and the direction that will help you move on from your past failures for good. Once your brain has something new to fixate on, it will let that past go. Your heart will respond accordingly. Sharing these new ideas with your mentor and loved ones will generate the cheerleading and buzz that will put even more distance between the new and past versions of yourself.
Seven months ago, I left my Product Management job at Google to work on starting a company. My co-founder and I have been working on Kapwing, an online video editor, for the last four months. In this post, I’ll compare life before and after so other big-company product managers know what they’re getting themselves into if they’re thinking about jumping ship.
The technical and managerial incompetence of the VCs and those they hired drove the company into the ground. All but 10 of the 240 employees were fired, laid off, or quit. All of the $40+ million in venture capital was squandered. The monthly operating profit turned to loss as more talentless executives were hired who threw out the company’s old, useful products and put their blind faith in engineers who spent millions building complicated software that solved no business problems.

However, if you consistently deduct additional assessments in the year they are paid or finally determined (including those for which there was no contest), you must continue to do so. You cannot take a deduction in the earlier year unless you receive permission to change your method of accounting. For more information on accounting methods, see When Can I Deduct an Expense in chapter 1.

If your business or investment activity passes this 3- (or 2-) years-of-profit test, the IRS will presume it is carried on for profit. This means the limits discussed here will not apply. You can take all your business deductions from the activity, even for the years that you have a loss. You can rely on this presumption unless the IRS later shows it to be invalid.

Generally, if you dispose of the mine before you have fully recaptured the exploration costs you deducted, recapture the balance by treating all or part of your gain as ordinary income. Under these circumstances, you generally treat as ordinary income all of your gain if it is less than your adjusted exploration costs with respect to the mine. If your gain is more than your adjusted exploration costs, treat as ordinary income only a part of your gain, up to the amount of your adjusted exploration costs.
So what went wrong? For one thing, Move Networks never reached critical mass on the consumer side of things; despite early success with ABC, Fox, the CW, and others, many media companies shied away from the technology because it required a plugin that not many consumers had installed. This created a vicious chicken-and-egg problem: How do you get people to install the plugin if it’s not being used to deliver good premium content? And how do you get good premium content unless people already have the plugin installed?
It could be said that entrepreneurs here are faced with two choices: push for further expansion, or exit the business. If you decide to expand further, you will need to ask yourself the same questions you did at the expansion stage: Can the business sustain further growth? Are there enough opportunities out there for expansion? Is your business financially stable enough to cover an unsuccessful attempt at expansion?
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