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Getting started

View ifs ProShare's checklist first...

There are a number of issues that you may need to carefully consider when deciding whether or not to implement an employee share ownership programme. The following checklist may provide some assistance in highlighting the key areas:

  • Company aims and objectives - the company's business aims and objectives should be key in the decision making process as to what, when, how and which share scheme to implement.
  • Share Scheme v Option Scheme - do you want to create immediate shareholders or do you want to provide 'options' to create future shareholders?
  • Eligibility - do you want an all-employee share scheme or do you want discretionary eligibility so that only chosen employees can participate?
  • Approved v Unapproved - do you want to offer an approved share scheme, with the associated tax reliefs for both the company and participating employees, or an unapproved share scheme where you have flexibility of design.
  • Performance criteria / Forfeiture of shares / Holding period - there are a number of choices that you can make to design the scheme to your requirements.
  • Which Scheme(s)? - once you have decided on the above points, which scheme(s) provide the 'best fit' for your company?
  • Shareholder approval - do you need shareholder approval to run your chosen scheme?
  • Company responsibility - where will the responsibility lie within the company for the operation of the scheme? Will responsibility fall under the Company Secretariat or perhaps under Human Resources.
  • Out source, co-source or in-house administration? - do you want to get professional administrators to run the scheme or do you want to run it in-house?
  • Appointment of professional advisors and trustees - do you have an existing professional relationship with providers or do you need to 'beauty parade' potential providers?
  • Costs - how much are you prepared to spend on scheme implementation, administration and employee communication?
  • Employee communication - what is the best way to communicate with eligible employees? Previous experience, your company's operating sector, your resources and costs will all have an impact.

Visit the Help & Guidance section of our website to view the step-by-step guides on how to implement Revenue Approved Share Schemes.

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