Setting up and managing an employee ownership trust
We can support you to set up an employee ownership trust, provide you with the necessary tax advice and obtain clearance from HMRC for the trust. We can also draft the trust documents, liaise with shareholders and employee representatives, help you choose trustees and obtain the company valuation.
Our specialist employee incentive solicitors can help your business by:
- Showing you how to maximise the tax advantages of setting up a trust, including inheritance tax, income, and capital gain tax reliefs, and advising you on how to avoid failing to meet any qualifying rules.
- Supporting you to obtain a market valuation for your company and advising you on how to calculate the purchase price.
- Liaising with your existing shareholders including those who don’t intend selling to the EOT.
- Helping you decide how the sale will be funded, whether that’s via a loan or paid over time out of profits.
- Working with your employees to explain to them how the employee ownership trust will work, and how they can maximise the advantages of working in an employee-owned business.
- Helping to choose trustees for the EOT.
- Obtaining HMRC clearance.
- Reviewing your company’s legal documents and management structure as well as your shareholdings and provide legal advice as to how these may need to change as a result of the EOT.
- Drafting the necessary documents making sure everyone’s interests are protected as far as possible and balancing the risks and rewards.
- Completing the share sale to the EOT.
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
We rely on Harper James to provide us with support across a full range of service areas, from commercial contracts and employment issues to fundraisings and investments. The team at Harper James are always available to provide us with cost effective, pragmatic and commercially focused advice.
Nick Holzherr, CEO
We are a small company and the process of setting up a company share scheme was pretty daunting. Abby Watson and Harper James Solicitors provided expert advice to ensure we understood the process and drafted all relevant documentation. We were very impressed with the service received and would recommend the firm to others.
Julie Robinson, CEO
Move It or Lose It
Harper James provides my small growing business with a scalable, reliable, team-oriented approach to legal advice. Whenever we face a problem, I know that Harper James are there to provide helpful and cost-effective advice, to scope out the options, make clear the costs and risks, and give me the information I need to make decisions.
Bryn Richards, CEO
As a University spin-out getting the right team of lawyers to support our emerging business was fundamental and the team are always available to provide us with the invaluable guidance and support we require.
David Hodgson, CEO
Harper James is a brilliant example of a company disrupting a traditional industry. Suddenly Solicitors become relevant and accessible for start-ups & small enterprises, with the best in-class knowledge of all major legal areas. I’ve used the business now for a year, and the Enterprise plan has been perfect for budgeting my company’s outgoings, and has given me a piece of mind when tackling key, decisive issues. Thank-you HJS!
Koral Ibrahim, Founder & MD
The Ready House
Quick, concise and best of all reasonably priced
Tim Pedley, Company Secretary
Fast, flexible access to specialists.
Derek Moore, CEO and Co-Founder
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How an employee ownership trust will benefit your business
Improvement in company productivity
Research has shown that selling to an employee ownership trust improves both employee and company productivity. It also improves staff morale and can decrease absenteeism.
Quicker than a sale to a third party
Selling shares to an EOT can be a much quicker and simpler transaction than selling shares to a third party.
Selling to an EOT can bring many advantages for participants, including inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax savings.
Who we help: Start-ups and scale-ups across a range of sectors
We support a wide range of UK-based companies that are thinking of selling, either to a third party or to employees. If you feel that selling to an employee ownership trust would be a good option for you, or simply want to understand how they work, get in touch. It’s vital to take good legal advice at the appropriate stage in your formation of an EOT in order to avoid unexpected tax charges, to make sure the sale goes through without a hitch, that you have appropriate trustees in place, and that your EOT gets pre-clearance from HMRC.
Why choose Harper James Solicitors?
We can assist you to understand the benefits and disadvantages of EOTs. Our corporate specialists have a wealth of experience in setting up and advising EOTs and we are experts in obtaining pre-clearance from HMRC for trusts. We can provide you with the support necessary to progress sales swiftly, working with you, your shareholders, and employees to troubleshoot potential issues.
Beyond that, we can also provide you with commercial legal advice across a broad range of services, ultimately offering you a fully integrated approach to all the legal support you may need, aligning with your objectives as your business develops. Plus, we have all been recruited from top UK law firms or from large businesses and have advised clients both as external advisors and as in-house corporate counsel.
Find out more about the team 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
Jas is a corporate partner at Harper James Solicitors, advising on corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital & investments.View profile
Adam Kudryl is a Partner and Corporate & Commercial Solicitor at Harper James Solicitors, specialising in strategic investments, acquisitions and sales.View profile
Corporate Solicitor & CEO
Toby Harper is the CEO & Founder of Harper James Solicitors, as well as a corporate & commercial solicitor. He specialises in venture capital and the tech sector.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
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
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
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.
Providing you with priority access to a dedicated panel of highly experienced solicitors.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.