Venture capital: Enterprise management incentive options

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The Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) option regime came into effect in 2000. EMI options are intended to assist smaller high-risk companies to recruit and retain employees of high calibre, in the face of the strong competition for the services of such people from larger concerns and companies in other jurisdictions.

In broad terms, EMI options aim to do this by providing significant tax relief for employees in companies with fewer than 250 employees and gross assets of no more than £30m who receive options over no more than £250,000 worth of shares.

Set out below are the principal elements of EMI options and an outline of the tax reliefs potentially available to holders of EMI options and their employing company…

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