Qualifying share schemes are promoted by the government and can be a useful way of companies keeping salary costs under control whilst still encouraging loyalty and rewarding staff. They also allow the current owner to retain full control, as the shares only become the property of the employee on a future date and contingent upon a defined trigger, for example a sale of the company.

There are strict legal requirements for a scheme to qualify and legal advice is essential to ensure that a proposed scheme benefits from the most advantageous tax treatment.