Employee Grant of Stock Option Offer Letters [Designed for use with our Australian Employee Stock Option Plan]

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Generate Customised Automated Employee Grant of Stock Options Offer Letters

This automated process assists you to automatically generate up to 10 fully-customised Employee Stock Option Offer Letters for making grants of Stock Options (designed for use with our Australian Employee Stock Option Plan) along with matching Acceptance Letters for Employees to return to your company, using our Self-Service or Lawyer-Assisted options.

Our Employee Grant of Stock Option Offer Letter allows you to provide for the following:

⚖️ Issue options in either the Employer's company or a separate entity;

⚖️ Customise the letter to use your Employer logo;

⚖️ Use different (1-5 year) vesting schedules;

⚖️ Automatically generate matching Acceptance Letters for Employees; and

⚖️ Use electronic signatures to send both the Offer Letter and the Acceptance of Offer Letter.

Sample Employee Option ➲ Vesting Timetable

The following sample vesting timetable is for Employee Options that will vest annually in arrears ➲ eg, with a 4-year vesting timetable:

Sample: Employee Option Vesting Timetable

Are Formal Disclosure Documents Required for each Grant of Stock Options?

In respect of each separate Grant of Stock Options made pursuant to your Employee Stock Option Plan, you need to ensure that your company is able to issue the options without requiring a Formal Disclosure Document (eg, a Prospectus or Offer Information Statement) under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act).

By default, a Formal Disclosure Document is required unless an exception applies.

Does an Exception Apply?

Please consider whether any of the following exceptions may apply:

Senior Managers  

⭐️ Offer to a senior manager of the company/employer or their spouse, parent, child, brother or sister or a body corporate controlled by any of them ➲ s 708(12) of the Corporations Act;

Nil Exercise Price  

⭐️ No consideration is payable for the grant of the options and the exercise price is nil ➲ s 708(15) of the Corporations Act.

Note that this exception can only be available if the plan is not subject to the "Start Up" limitations; and/or

Small Scale Offering

⭐️ The offer of the Options will breach neither the "20 investors ceiling" nor the "$2 million ceiling" under ➲ ss 708(1)-(7) of the Corporations Act.

Simpler Offer Document under ASIC ESS Regime Instrument 2022/1021

⭐️ If none of the above exceptions apply, consider whether a Simpler Offer Document under ASIC Corporations (Employee Share Schemes) Instrument 2022/1021 may be applicable.

The ESS Regime provisions in Part 7.12 of the Corporations Act commenced on 1 October 2022 and ASIC’s relief seeks to remove unintended technical issues that stakeholders said will cause difficulties in practice.

This follows a consultation ASIC undertook earlier in the year.  

The ESS Regime Legislative Instrument provides:

⚖️ A broader exemption for secondary sales of financial products that are quoted on a financial market;

⚖️ More options for the financial information that foreign companies can provide ESS participants;

⚖️ The ability to provide an expert valuation of ESS interests that are not ordinary shares (in addition to the other valuation methods set out in s1100X(3));

⚖️ Technical relief so that salary sacrificing arrangements can comply with the requirements for contribution plans; and

⚖️ Clarification that financial products offered outside this jurisdiction do not need to be included when calculating the issue cap in s1100V.

ESS Regime replaces previous ASIC Class Orders

The ESS Regime is intended to replace ASIC’s existing relief for employee incentive schemes in Class Order [CO 14/1000] Employee Incentive Schemes: Listed bodies and Class Order [CO 14/1001] Employee Incentive Schemes: Unlisted bodies.

Since 1 March 2023 entities are unable to make new offers under these prior ASIC Class Orders.

Further reading:

MEDIA RELEASE (22-370MR) published 20 December 2022

ASIC provides legislative relief to facilitate employee share schemes

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This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

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