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Ask an expert: EMI options and entrepreneurs’ relief

Question

My client is a small technology company which has granted a number of EMI options to nearly all of its employees in the last few years. It is looking to exit by way of a trade sale in three to five years time. The CFO has approached me because he has been told by a friend that he can now obtain the benefit of entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) as a result of exercising his EMI options with ‘no strings attached’. The CFO would like to know whether his friend is correct and whether this would be applicable to all employees.

Answer

Your CFO’s friend is referring to the 2012 Budget announcement relating to ER and EMI options. Prior to this announcement if an employee exercised an EMI...

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