In 2015 the Australian tax office implemented a new scheme for employee share option plans (ESOPs) for startup companies.
The ESOP startup concessions are made available for an employee that participates in an employee share scheme under the following conditions:
• The employer is an Australian resident company.
• The issue of the shares to the employee will not result in them owning more than 10% of the issued shares of the company
• The discount on the shares granted is no more than 15% of their market value at the time they were granted
• The amount payable to exercise options on the employee shares is greater than or equal to the value of an ordinary share when the option was granted.
For a company issuing shares to be considered a startup, it must not be listed on any stock exchange, must have been incorporated for less than ten years and its aggregate net turnover must not exceed $50 million in any year.