The stock has to be held for more than 5 years in order to qualify as “eligible gains” for QSBS purposes. (as per Section 1202(b)(2)). Although this is true it is possible to maintain your timeline if the stock is sold early using Section 1045. There are also various nuances to be considered when determining your timeline.
This article does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor with respect to your particular circumstance.