Share scheme issues for an AIM company
Produced in partnership with Karen Cooper of Cooper Cavendish
Share scheme issues for an AIM company

The following Share Incentives practice note produced in partnership with Karen Cooper of Cooper Cavendish provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Share scheme issues for an AIM company
  • Regulatory issues
  • Introduction
  • Institutional shareholder guidance
  • Shareholder approval
  • Market Abuse Regulation
  • Directors dealings—notification
  • Prospectus regulation
  • Remuneration Code
  • Remuneration disclosure
  • More...

This Practice Note looks at the issues arising for companies trading on AIM when designing and operating their employee and executive share schemes. It highlights the key regulatory and corporate governance issues which must be borne in mind, along with some of the tax considerations for the company and scheme participants.

Regulatory issues


Companies with shares traded on AIM are generally subject to less onerous corporate governance requirements than companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. While AIM companies must comply with the Market Abuse Regulation, they are not required to comply with the provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code or the remuneration policy and reporting regulations which were introduced for premium list companies in 2013. AIM companies do not have to produce an annual directors’ remuneration report and are not required to submit a policy or report to a shareholder vote.

That said, there are a number of corporate governance guidelines that apply to AIM companies that have relevance to the operation of employee share schemes. These include:

  1. the AIM Rules (the AIM Rules)

  2. the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) Corporate governance code (the QCA Code) published by the QCA in April 2018 and its ‘Sharing Value’ publication—a remuneration committee guide for small and mid-sized quoted companies, published in 2016, and

  3. the Corporate Governance and Voting Guidelines for Smaller Quoted Companies published by

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