What we do: EMI scheme legal advice
The Enterprise Management Incentive scheme (EMI) is designed to allow you to provide a share option scheme for your employees, with great tax advantages.
A share option plan gives your company’s employees the right to acquire shares in your company at a future date, but at a price that is fixed now. They’re intended to help you recruit and retain valued employees and reward them for investing their time and skills in helping to grow your business.
If the value of the shares increases over time after the grant of the options, employees may make significant gains.
Provided certain conditions are met, a company can set up an EMI scheme to grant share options worth up to £250k to each employee/director – without paying income tax or national insurance on exercise of the options, subject to an overall maximum of £3M.
On the sale of shares acquired as a result of an exercise of an EMI option, any increase in value will be treated as a capital gain and capital gains tax may be payable on the gain (subject to the availability of various exemptions and reliefs).
The company should also benefit from a corporation tax deduction when the EMI options are exercised equal to the value in the options at the date of exercise.
Leaver provisions are a key element of how share options operate. Watch our corporate solicitor Jas Bhogal explaining how they can affect shareholders:
How Can Harper James Help?
Our expert employee incentive lawyers can help you set up an employee share scheme such as an EMI share plan for your employees. We will:
- Establish that your company qualifies (and if not, find an alternative approach)
- Apply for advance clearance from HMRC that your company qualifies to grant EMI options
- Design and draft the EMI scheme rules and share option agreements
- Agree a valuation of the EMI shares with HMRC
- Review any pre-existing shareholders’ agreements and articles of association to check if any amendments are necessary, or if particular consents are required
- Prepare board minutes and shareholder written resolutions
- Make filings at Companies House
- Report the grant of the EMI option to HMRC
Who we help
Watch our CEO Toby Harper explaining in this short video why EMI schemes can be a great option for high-growth businesses:
*prices correct at time of filming
Request Free EMI Share Option Templates
We’ve provided a library of helpful template documents to help you get started with your EMI share scheme, at no cost to you.
Why choose our EMI solicitors? Our experience
We’re a modern law firm with a difference. Our innovative remote operating model means that you can access expert City-grade legal advice from partner-level solicitors at a fraction of the cost of traditional law firms. Our solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms or large international businesses. Find out more about our employee incentives lawyers here:
Employee Incentives Solicitor
Ian has over 25 years’ experience advising on employee incentive arrangements (including EMI, CSOP, SIP and SAYE plans and growth/hurdle share and phantom equity arrangements).View profile
Abby Watson is a corporate solicitor, specialising in private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions, EMI share schemes, corporate finance and governance and more.View profile
Adam Kudryl is a Partner and Corporate & Commercial Solicitor at Harper James Solicitors, specialising in strategic investments, acquisitions and sales.View profile
Jas is a corporate solicitor at Harper James Solicitors, advising on corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital & investments.View profile
Shubhu specialises in early-stage fund raisings, shareholder arrangements and M&A. Prior to joining Harper James she worked at Mills & Reeve and before that at Addleshaw Goddard and Slaughter and May.View profile
Stephen is an experienced corporate lawyer, with a career including time at DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons. He specialises in mergers and acquisitions and private equity work.View profile
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
Harper James have been fantastic. They always provide quality advice with quick turnarounds and, every time, we're pleasantly surprised when the invoice comes in!
We’ve been working with the team for over a year and since day one they've been pragmatic, diligent and above all, committed throughout. They work hard to add value and have been of great benefit to us and our investors.