Employee Incentive Arrangements

Attract and retain top talent with an employee incentive arrangement that aligns staff to your business goals, complies with regulations, and doesn’t break the bank

Setting up an employee incentive  plan that gives staff the chance to have a real stake in the company they’re working to build offers tangible benefits to growing and established businesses.

But careful planning and expert legal advice is needed to make sure that your company is eligible for HMRC tax advantages, remains compliant, and takes advantage of whatever tax efficiencies are available.

That’s where we come in…

Designing incentive arrangements for employees

Our multi-disciplinary team can support you with:

  • Advice on the staff incentive plan that’s right for you
  • The steps needed to put your plan in place
  • Any regulations that relate to your chosen plan
  • Drafting agreements
  • The employment law aspects of introducing an employee incentive plan
  • Obtaining any necessary clearances from HMRC
  • Tax reporting and compliance
  • Directors’ remuneration and other corporate governance issues
  • Future rights of investors (such as under the EIS and SEIS schemes)
  • Potential impact on founders, investors and other stakeholders

As business law experts, we have the skills and experience to help you choose the employee incentive plan that’s right for your company.

Types of incentive arrangements for employees:

HMRC tax advantaged share plans

Most suitable for small, high-risk companies, this scheme provides rewards for employees that help the company grow. Our expert lawyers can help assess your company’s suitability for an EMI plan, support the valuation process, draft the option agreements and other required documents, and assist in your dealings with HMRC.

Designing an EMI share option plan

We can help you evaluate whether your company is a good fit for a CSOP and prepare all the relevant paperwork including self-certification.

These offer employees the opportunity to purchase ordinary shares in your company at a favourable price. We can support the set-up process, including assessing your suitability for the scheme, support the valuation process, draft the option agreements and assist in your dealings with HMRC.

We can help you design and put in place your SIP, including setting up performance measures for staff, reviewing staff terms and conditions, liaising and communicating with employees and supporting ongoing compliance.

We can advise on the merits of selling your company to an EOT, and help you structure and implement the sale.

Set up an employee ownership trust (EOT)

Non HMRC tax advantaged incentive plans

Non-tax advantaged employee incentive arrangements do not need to meet specific legal rules like the HMRC tax advantaged plans mentioned above, so they can be quick and easy to set up. However, they may need to be structured carefully to attract the most effective tax benefits. We can work alongside you to determine if a non-tax advantaged incentive plan is right for you and help with structuring, set up and ongoing administration:

We can re-structure your company so you can make awards of ordinary or preferred shares to employees and advise on dilution, share classes and special rights for shareholders such as voting and dividend rights.

These arrangements work well for early-stage and growing businesses, but the conditions that apply and issues relating to company valuation need to be carefully managed. We can review your company’s suitability for growth/hurdle share arrangements, draft the growth/hurdle share subscription agreement, assist with company valuation and make the required amendments to your company’s constitution.

Growth shares incentives scheme

Using hurdle shares to incentivise employees

These arrangements don’t require HMRC clearance or company valuation, and the paperwork can be more straightforward. Our expert team can advise whether a non-tax advantaged share option or RSU arrangement is right for you and support you through the implementation process.

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.

Who we help: High-growth businesses

High-growth companies tell us that finding and retaining top talent when a business is scaling is one of their key risk areas, and balancing the needs of founders, investors and employees (while managing cashflow and protecting working capital) is crucial, particularly when considering an employee share plan. That’s why entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs lean on us. We know how to get the balance right – introducing an employee incentive plan that aligns with your business strategy now and later down the line.

Why choose Harper James Solicitors?

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 senior solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms or large international businesses. Our expert employee incentive lawyers include:

Pricing plans

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:

City

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.

Enterprise

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.

On-Demand

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 next?

Please leave us your details and we’ll contact you to discuss your situation and legal requirements. There’s no charge for your initial consultation, and no obligation to instruct us. We aim to respond to all messages received within 24 hours.

  • Your data will only be used by Harper James Solicitors. We will never sell your data and promise to keep it secure. You can find further information in our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A national law firm

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

Floor 2, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
2-5 Velocity Tower, 1 St Mary’s Square, Sheffield, S1 4LP

Our other locations

Immeuble Danica B, 21, avenue Georges Pompidou, Lyon Cedex 03, Lyon, 69486