Update: EU reaffirms State Aid approval for EMI share options


Andrew Holloway

Andrew Holloway

Senior Manager, Entrepreneurial Taxes


Following our April 2018 notice regarding uncertainty around EMI state aid, we are pleased to announce that on May 15th the European Commission confirmed that continued EU State Aid for the UK's Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme, has been approved.

On 4 April 2018, the UK Government - via its employment related securities (ERS) bulletin - updated firms involved in establishing EMI schemes and the granting of EMI share options, that there would be a lapse period from when the existing approval expires on 6 April 2018, until a decision is reached by the EU Commission on a fresh approval.

EMI is an employee incentive share scheme that offers tax advantages and flexibility for eligible entrepreneurial businesses with up to 250 employees, enabling them to attract and retain key staff by rewarding them with an equity stake in the business. It has proved to be one of the UK’s most popular share plans to date and is ideal for smaller, entrepreneurial companies competing for talent, who might not be able to match the salaries paid by larger businesses.

We welcome the May 2018 update that EU state aid for EMI has been reaffirmed. Andrew Holloway, Head of Entrepreneurial Taxes at Johnston Carmichael says  “This is great news and no doubt a relief for younger entrepreneurial companies looking to incentivise staff; EMI is fundamental to the competitiveness of these businesses as it levels the playing field in helping them attract the best talent.'

Johnston Carmichael has a team of specialists dedicated to the technology sector, with expertise ranging from innovation and R&D taxes to corporate finance; and delivered £65m of tech-focused corporate finance deals last year alone.