How do I register an EMI Scheme with HMRC?

You only need to register one scheme with HMRC’s Employment Related Securities (ERS), then all subsequent grants can be notified as part of the same scheme.

If this is your first EMI submission and you need to register it with ERS, please follow the instructions below.

  • If you’ve already registered an EMI scheme with ERS, you’ve already completed this step and can start your initial notification
  • This means you only ever need to follow this guide below - all your future EMI options will be registered in this scheme

In both cases, the initial notification needs to be completed within 92 days of the grant date, so it’s important you register the scheme sooner rather than later. 


Register an EMI scheme with ERS 

  1. Register the scheme through the Employment Related Securities (ERS) section of HMRC's website.
    1. Note that an accountant or agent cannot register the scheme (but they can submit initial and annual notifications), it must be done by someone within the company.
    2. If you already have an HMRC account with PAYE set up, log in here and follow the steps.

      Important: If you don’t have PAYE on your account already, please note that it can take up to 3 weeks to set up. There’s also a delay of 24 hours or more between registering a scheme (step 1) and being able to complete the initial notification (step 2). So be sure to leave enough time to carry out the notification before the 92-day deadline.

      If you need help adding PAYE to your account, watch this video from HMRC

      Granted EMI options from a holding company or a subsidiary? You can register the scheme under any active or live PAYE reference number - it doesn't have to be under the holding company’s PAYE. If the holding company doesn't have a PAYE, you can use the subsidiary's PAYE instead. 

      If this is the case, you will need to inform HMRC that the options are granted over the holding company's or subsidiary's shares.
  2. Locate the Employment Related Securities (ERS) box (with link) – towards the bottom of the page.

  3. Once in the ERS system, select Register a scheme or arrangement

  4. Then select Enterprise Management Initiatives (EMI).

  5. Next, enter the details of the scheme

    1. Select the tax year the scheme will start in. This is the tax year the options were first granted (this is the grant date, not the vesting start date). Getting this wrong may incur a penalty from HMRC. 

    2. Give the scheme a name — we recommend something along the lines of 'Company Name EMI scheme', as all subsequent EMI schemes will be registered in this same scheme. 

    3. The Corporation Tax Reference is your 10 digit UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number. 

    4. Your Company Registration Number is the Companies House number given to you when you incorporated your business.

      1. Both of these fields may already be filled in, but if not you should be able to find these numbers on tax returns and invoices. 

  6. Then you can review the information you entered and make changes if needed.

  7. If all is correct, click Confirm to go to the declaration page. Clicking Next will confirm your submission and register your EMI scheme! You won't need to do this process again. 

  8. Once you have registered the scheme, you may be logged out due to a security check… don't worry, the information is saved. Just log in again to view your submission.

  9. You'll then see your scheme registration acknowledgement reference number. We recommend you keep a note of this number until the newly registered scheme is processed and live.
  10. This can take 24 hours or longer, but once live you can move on to step 2 and start your initial notification


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