Guide to Enterprise Management Incentive schemes

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Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) schemes are a type of flexible and tax-advantaged employee share scheme.

To be eligible, however, a company must meet various qualifying criteria. For example, the company must carry on a ‘qualifying trade’ in the UK, the company or group of companies must have fewer than 250 full-time employees and the gross assets of the company or group must not exceed £30 million at the time the share option is granted. Similarly, there are restrictions on the types of employee that can participate and limits on the total value of shares that can be offered under EMI options at any given time, as well as an individual limit per employee.

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Our commercial contracts solicitors have extensive expertise in preparing EMI share option agreements and scheme rules. When drafting these documents we work closely with our clients’ accountants to ensure the various requirements and formalities of the relevant legislation are complied with. We supply detailed plans that set out the circumstances in which the options can be exercised and the rules that apply to the options.

To help businesses get to grips with the various EMI scheme requirements we’ve compiled a new guide.

To receive our guide, please email either Senior Associate Solicitor Gemma Ritchie at or Partner Mark Williams at

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