I've been reading that under 409a regulations, if non-qualified stock options are issued below fair market value, there are immediate tax implications and a 20% penalty. I've been working part-time for a startup and am being issued non-qualified options but have been told that there won't be a valuation of the company until the first round of seed investment is completed in a couple months.
So I'm wondering what happens in this situation and if this will cause issues? I read in another question (OK to issue options before the first financing round?) that early on the fair market value is close to zero but isn't it important to get a valuation? And what happens if they don't have one at the time options are issued?