EMI Share Schemes Key to Retaining Top Talent

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Whilst the credit crunch continues to squeeze corporate purse strings tighter, there is a glimmer of hope for businesses looking to attract or retain top talent without having to invest in expensive incentives or bonuses, according to lawyers at Net Lawman, who are advising small business to consider the advantages of adopting Enterprise Management Incentive share schemes (EMI's).

An employee share scheme can help a company's owners to transfer ownership to those working in the business, for example to family or to enable a management buy-out. You can sell your company gradually and obtain tax relief while doing this. The tax relief available depends on the share scheme you choose

EMIs are tax advantaged share options for employees designed to help small, higher risk companies recruit and retain employees who have the skills to help them grow and succeed. They are also a way of rewarding employees for taking a risk by investing their time and skills to help small companies achieve their potential.

"An employee share scheme can help a company's owners to transfer ownership to those working in the business, for example to family or to enable a management buy-out. You can sell your company gradually and obtain tax relief while doing this. The tax relief available depends on the share scheme you choose", says Miriam Taylor of Net Lawman.

According to Taylor, there are generally three reasons why businesses might want to consider a share scheme;

To allow employees to acquire shares in a tax-effective way over a period of time and to increase motivation and improve team performance.

To lock-in the employee until the point of a sale (or IPO) or until a key milestone is achieved. Translating what would otherwise be cash benefits into future share rewards can be very beneficial for an early stage or fast growing company.

To reward past loyalty ahead of a sale: it is quite common for owner-managers thinking of a sale to want to ensure that key employees who have contributed to the value creation share in sale proceeds.

Net Lawman have this month launched their new set of EMI share scheme documents which have been drawn by lawyers specialising in this field. They provide all the documents required for an eligible company to set up and operate their scheme, as well as low cost back up legal advice.

Their range includes comprehensive EMI share scheme agreements, board minutes to adopt and grant the option, legal set up forms, buy-back agreements and Articles of Association with buy-back clause. Net Lawman are the first to offer these type of legal documents online and are renowned for their ability to provide jargon-free, documents written in plain English.

For more information visit http://www.netlawman.co.uk?sc=1046.

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Miriam Taylor
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