Q&As

Can an option holder be forced to pay a company share option plan exercise price in advance?

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Published on LexisPSL on 22/06/2020

The following Share Incentives Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can an option holder be forced to pay a company share option plan exercise price in advance?

Company share option plan (CSOP) legislation dictates that the exercise price of the options must be:

  1. stated at the time of grant, and

  2. not manifestly less than the market value (ignoring any restrictions) of shares of the same class at that time or an earlier time agreed by an officer of HMRC

Requiring option-holders, at the date of grant, to make advance payments of part of the exercise price of their options, may be an unacceptable feature, which does not meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.

However, if it

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