Employee Stock Option Plan in India 2023: Advantages, Requirements & Procedure

Companies hire and manage top talent by using Employee Stock Option Plan. However, it’s an employee benefit plan that encourages employees to take ownership of shares at a set amount.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers or salary employees. Thank you.

    Table of Contents

    employee stock option plan in india

    Employee Stock Option Plan in India 2023

    Companies hire and manage top talent by using ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan)! However, it’s an employee benefit plan that encourages employees to take ownership of shares at a set amount. 

    The strategy that corporations employ in order to grant their workers with ownership stake is known as an employee stock option plan (ESOP) or equity incentive plan. The company employs this strategy to draw in new hires, reward them, and keep them on board. The decision of embracing this program is provided to the workers they are not obligated to accept it. An ESOP is an advantage or right granted to a business’s full-time directors and permanent workers to acquire the organization’s stock at an established price.

    Typically, companies offer an Employee Stock Option Plan for employees to ensure that they make them remain with the company for a longer period. It encourages employees to be more productive and to show their commitment to the business.

    Through this article, we will briefly discuss the employee stock option plan covering its benefits, purpose, and other related components.

    Who is an employee?

    In accordance with SEBI’s requirements, a worker includes: 

    • A permanent worker for the business 
    • One of the company’s directors 
    • A worker for a subsidiary

    A worker does not necessarily include:

    • A promoter worker or a member of the promoter group (close family member) 
    • A director who holds over ten percent of the business’s equity shares directly or indirectly.

    Purpose of giving ESOP

    Making ESOP available has the goal of increasing an employee’s commitment to the business. ESOP encourages employees to take control of the business and devote themselves to it for a prolonged period of time. Employees receive ESOPs according to duration or performance. As a result, it helps the organization with the following objectives.

    • It serves as a motivational source for the workforce after converting the workers into shareholders in the business. Due to the increased responsibility that comes with owning stock, people perform better in order to raise the worth of the shares held by the business.
    • It aids entrepreneurs in keeping their personnel and guarantees improved performance at work.

    Benefits of Employee Stock Option Plan

    Attract top talent

    It is possible that you will not be able to pay the current pay, however, the prospect of a share within your business will be enough to attract top talent.

    Create Motivation

    The more successful your company is, the more employees you have on your team will be the money they deserve. It’s the best way you can encourage your employees.

    Keep Them Going

    The employees to whom shares were assigned are likely to last for the four to five years that you have designated as the vesting time.

    Requirement to be a participant in the Employee Stock Option Plan

    • Down below you will understand the specific provisions regarding the issue of shares under the Employee Stock Option Plan.
    • The time and location for the committee’s compensation must be mentioned at the board’s meeting.
    • Notice of the general meeting containing how many ESOP will be awarded.
    • Additionally, organize a general meeting to seek the approval of shareholders through the use of a normal resolution. In addition, include approval for the issue of shares as part of the ESOP and the establishment of the compensation committee.
    • There should be a Compensation Committee (CC). The CC will be a group composed of board directors that include the majority of directors who are independent.
    • Approval of shareholders through a different
    • The requirement for the draft copy of certificates.
    • The filing of Form-PAS-3.
    • Information in Director Report (DR).
    • Maintaining the register for ESOP in SH-6 in the corporate registered office or any other location as the board decides.
    • The entries in the register must have their authenticity verified through CS or by any other individual who is authorized by the board.

    Who is qualified to apply for Employee Stock Option Plan?

    As per the IRS (Indian Revenue Service), The maximum age an employer is allowed to impose to be eligible for ESOP to be eligible for ESOP is 21. 

    In addition, the employee must be eligible to be eligible for ESOP at the time when they join the business. Employers may limit the eligibility of employees with two years of service, but only if the plan is immediate vesting.

    How do you create an Employee Stock Option Plan?

    create an Employee Stock Option Plan
    • Check if the other owners are willing.
    • Investigate to determine the feasibility of.
    • Conduct an appraisal.
    • Employ an ESOP attorney.
    • Funding for the plan is required.
    • Set up a system to execute the plan.

    How to sign up for the Employee Stock Option Plan?

    sign up for the Employee Stock Option Plan

    Draft the ESOP Rules

    Your ESOP rules outline the conditions that govern any options granted by the plan which include the process of giving options, the procedure for granting options, and how employees can exercise their options, as well as what happens to the options in an event of exit or when an employee is fired. The document will contain the following dates:

    Scheduling 1: A grant note describing the conditions and options you would like to grant recipients.

    Schedule 2: This is the type of notice of exercise to be given to the company if an option holder wishes to exercise their rights under their vested options.

    Schedule 3: type of notice of exercise to be given to the business when an option holder wishes to exercise their vested rights.

    Schedule 4: An option certificate lists how many options are available, then the exercise price, and vesting provisions.

    Approve The Rules and the Option Pool

    After you have been satisfied with the ESOP rules the directors and shareholders need to sign a corporate approval document to accept these ESOP rules and to establish the option pool.

    Board and Shareholder Approval

    Several resolutions contain:

    • It is the approval process for Employee Stock Option Plan rules.
    • A total of the options available in the ESOP pool.
    • The board is authorized to award options to recipients of their choice and
    • The authority to issue shares is granted upon any exercise of options.

    Shareholder Waivers and Consents

    The shareholder’s agreement and your constitution could contain preemptive rights in the issue of shares. 

    If that’s the case, the shareholders who have preemptive rights be required to agree on a waiver of regard to any options that are granted to them by the Employee Stock Option Plan.

    Grant your options

    Make Your Directors’ Resolutions

    When you decide to offer options, have your corporate secretary make a fresh board resolution in writing, which will approve the option grant to a specified recipient.

    Let Each Recipient Receive Their Request Letter for Grant:

    After you receive the letter, you can give them the option certificate. The option certificate is available as a certificate in schedule 3. The schedule must be blank, and an additional option certificate is given to the person who will receive it. This means that you have to create a brand new separate word document.

    Upgrade Your Register

    Internally, you must keep an options record that is a list of all the options your firm has given, as well as the vesting schedules, expiry dates, and dates for exercise.

    Documents required to implement employee stock option Plan

    • Minutes from a board meeting.
    • A special resolution to approve ESOP and the accompanying statement.
    • The minutes of the General Meeting.
    • Boards can report.
    • The employee’s registration of stock options plan.
    • PAS- 3, MGT- 14.

    What choose Odint Consultancy?

    Legal Matters

    We handle legal work for many corporations and LLPs each month, making use of our technological capabilities and the knowledge of our experts. 

    Deal with the documentation

    We handle all documentation, we can ensure an efficient and seamless interaction in conjunction with government officials. We offer clarity regarding the process of incorporation to establish reasonable expectations.


    With highly experienced business advisors and legal experts.

    Reasons to choose to use Employee Stock Option Plan

    Reasons to choose to use Employee Stock Option Plan
    • Employee Stock Option Plan offers a tax-exempt method that provides fair value to shareholders.
    • Employer Stock Option Plan permits a “low but slow” ownership change.
    • Employee Stock Option Plans are beneficial to employees who have a positive impact and are in the business for a long period
    • It helps create tax-favored, self-sufficient and sustainable businesses.
    • Employee Stock Option Plan helps create and safeguards a heritage.


    Employee Stock Option Plan for employees to ensure that they make them remain with the company for a longer time. It encourages employees to be more productive and to show their commitment to the business.

    So, if you still have any queries related to the Employee Stock Option Plan, we are ODINT Consultancy. We’re we are here to assist you at each step of your way. At ODINT, we are aware of the importance of a well-designed Employee Stock Option Plan in luring and keeping the best employees while encouraging a sense of ownership and loyalty inside your company. ODINT Consultancy is prepared to offer the assistance you require, whether you are an employer contemplating establishing an Employee Stock Option Plan or a worker seeking to comprehend the benefits.


    Yes, Private limited companies may accept ESOP for employees except for the maximum number of shareholders.

    In most cases, when a business is sold then the ESOP will end and owners of the employees receive cash in exchange for company stock.

    Employees who are part of the plan enjoy substantial retirement benefits at no cost to them. Furthermore, an ESOP is a fantastic option to boost the ability of a company to attract and keep the best talent.

    The Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) enables workers to buy or keep a predetermined number of business shares at a fixed price and with certain time restrictions. Only after the vesting period—a predetermined amount of time—can the employee use the ESOP.