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ESS – Safe-harbour valuation methods

Learn how start-up companies with ESS interests and use safe harbour valuation methods can have the valuation derived.

Last updated 6 February 2017

Start-up companies wishing to make an offer of employee share scheme (ESS) interests under an ESS need to determine the market value of the ESS interests they provide for the purposes of complying with the ESS provisions.

Our legislative instrument provides approved market valuation methods you can use. If you choose to use one of these methods, you have the certainty that we will accept the valuation (referred to as a 'safe-harbour' valuation).

The approved market valuation methods can be used for:

  • ESS interests that are in the form of shares – the discount must not exceed 15% of the market value of the share at the time it is acquired.
  • ESS interests that are in the form of options – the exercise price of the options is at least equal to the market value of the underlying shares.

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