Audit-ready 409A valuations
Be ready for your investors with a 409A valuation and accurate cap table, all in one. Pulley is the only provider who gets you a trusted report in just five days.
Pulley Scales with Startups from Idea -> IPO
"As a lawyer, I would always advise my clients to get the 409A valuation done correctly. The tax consequences of non-compliance are significant. We've done hundreds of valuations and have built tools to make the process easier."
Head of Support @ Pulley, Former Associate @ Kirkland
Audit-ready 409A valuations in half the time
Our 409A partners spend time understanding your business to ensure it is compliant with the highest standards of review - including the Big four auditing firms, IRS, and SEC.
You can trust your valuation with us. We offer all companies free lifetime audit review support at no additional cost.
Connect with Experts
Be wary of low-cost valuation firms. Some 409A valuation firms use automated statistical models to provide fast, low-cost reports. This comes with two risks:
- Overvalued shares - Low-cost providers reduce compliance risk by over-pricing shares by almost 30–50%. This can de-motivate employees and defeats the purpose of granting equity to attract great talent.
- Due diligence - 409A compliance is part of the due diligence for every investor and acquirer. A missing or non-compliant report addition can delay or deter future investors.
A 409A auditor is like a home appraiser - pick someone who will research your business to accurately access its value. We connect you with experts who understands your business to return a fair and defensible 409A report.
Cap table & 409A
An up-to-date cap table is required for your 409A. Our software tools help you collect the data you need for your 409A valuation so you can save valuable time.
Set your 409A on auto-pilot and don't risk derailing your next investment round.
When do I need a 409A valuation?
A 409A valuation report is valid up to 12 months from the valuation date or when a material event occurs – such as a new round.
With companies raising new rounds frequently, we include multiple 409A valuations in our Growth plans so you can better plan ahead.
We recommend you do a 409A valuation after all fundraising for the round is finalized.
How long will the process take?
We do valuations in half the time of most firms. It takes about 5 business days to get to a final draft of your 409A valuation for review. For later-stage companies, the timeline may be a little longer.
Once you have your report, you can review the valuation for accuracy. You can connect with your auditor at any time during this process.
Who needs a 409A valuation?
Any company issuing stock options require a 409A valuation - this includes most startups who grant options as part of employee comp.
When you grant stock options to employees, you need a value to determine the value of these shares. For public companies, this is the stock price. For private companies, an independent 409A valuation is the only method to grant options on a tax-free basis to your employees.
What are the risks of non-compliance?
There can be severe financial consequences for your employees for non-compliance. If the IRS determined your 409A valuation does not need standards, all of the shares you granted to employees at that value would be subject to gross income tax. The IRS can also levy up to a 20% penalty on stock options on top of the back-tax.
While enforcements are rare, the IRS has successfully pursued cases in the past (See Credit Karma). 409A compliance is part of the due diligence for every investor and acquirer. A missing or non-compliant report addition can delay or deter future investors.
How does a 409A valuation work?
At a high level, there are three steps in a 409A valuation:
- Calculate company value: High growth, unprofitable tech companies often use the market approach. Your auditor finds public companies in your domain and applies the valuation multiple to your own metrics.
- Determine the value of the common stock: The second step is to take that company value and divide it against all the shares within the different share classes. This is more complicated than it seems because different shares (preferred) have different economic rights.
- Apply a discount for lack of marketability (DLOM). Your shares not tradeable if the company is private. Your auditor will then apply a discount to your share price because there is no liquid market to sell these shares.
How should I select my valuation firm?
You want to work with a provider who has experience valuing in your industry. For example, if you are a high-growth social network, don't pick an auditor in the south who is used to valuing profitable small businesses. This valuation will take longer and is less likely to be accurate.
Pulley only partners with firms like Aranca that have worked across markets - from small startups to unicorns to international companies. They have extensive experience across company sectors, industries, and stages.
What will the process be like on Pulley?
Pulley chose Aranca as our preferred partner. Our partnership with Aranca offers Pulley users affordable valuations without leaving the platform.
Once you request your 409A valuation on Pulley and submit the required information, an Aranca representative will reach out to coordinate your valuation. Within 5 business days, you will receive an initial draft of your 409A valuation and will have an opportunity to provide feedback.
Other 409A valuation providers
Annual subscription with unlimited reports starting at $3,500 / year
Valuations start at $3,000 / report
Number of valuations
We include multiple valuations in your annual subscription. No need to pay twice.
409A valuations are required at least once a year or when a material event - like fundraising - occurs. Fast growth startups in today’s environment often need multiple valuations and we can help you predict the costs.
Pricing per valuation
An up to date cap table is required for your 409A. Our expert support team creates your cap table during onboarding, and can save you thousands compared to using your law firm.
Our software tools also helps your collect the data you need for your report so you can save valuable time.
Limited onboarding support. Costs more time to get started.
Completed report within 5 business days after all documents are uploaded.
Standard response is one month. Many firms charge extra for 1 week turnaround.
409A + Cap Table
Cap table management
Electronically send & sign option grants, SAFEs, etc.
Cap table modeling
Option and equity templates
Monthly payment. Annual contract.
Startup plan, plus:
409A valuations (learn more)
Onboarding due diligence
Electronic option exercises
Monthly payment. Annual contract.
Free 14 day trial
Growth plan, plus:
Waterfall modeling (coming soon)
Monthly payment. Annual contract.