Here is what you will need to implement an employee share scheme. Items marked * are essential:
  1. A plain English summary of the scheme design, for future reference. We call it a “blueprint”.
  2. A simple financial model to illustrate who will get what and with what expected value.
  3. A share valuation, possibly with an HMRC assurance letter.
  4. A set of plan rules.* You need this to qualify for wide-ranging exemptions from various pieces of legislation, such as the Companies Acts, inheritance tax laws and FCA regulations.
  5. An option agreement or share subscription agreement or share purchase agreement.* The agreement type depends on the type of scheme.
  6. A set of board minutes and shareholder resolutions.*
  7. A trust deed, a trustee and additional company approvals.* Only if you are using an Employee Benefit Trust or a SIP.
  8. Employee communication materials.
  9. Registering of share scheme and awards with HMRC.*
  10. Filings at Companies House, e.g. new Articles of Association.*