As startups continue to operate in a challenging macro-environment, this increase in employee ownership reflects growing recognition of the importance of rewarding talent by both entrepreneurs and investors.
In a sign of European governments’ growing understanding of how to attract the talent for thriving startup ecosystems, the Dutch government has unveiled changes to its policy on employee stock options: instead of levying tax when the options are granted, from 1 January 2022, tax will normally be levied“only once shares can be traded and money becomes available.”
The European Commission has launched an initiative called the EU Startup Nations Standard (SNS), which is pressuring national governments to put in place more startup-friendly policies.
This Friday at its annual Digital Day, the European Commission will be launching a “legislative instrument” called the EU Startup Nations Standard (SNS). Now, before you think I’m about to bore you to death, you might like to know that the SNS is a huge political initiative. It will aim to make the European Union the most attractive place to create a startup, in comparison with obvious global leaders like the U.S. Therefore, its significance is not to be underestimated.
We, the founders of Europe’s startups, welcome the launch of the EU Startup Nations Standard. We applaud the EU’s ambition of seeking a pan-European solution to address the needs of startups and urge every Member State to adopt and implement it urgently. We need a pan-European approach to help startups achieve their full potential.
“While these policy changes will be welcome news to Latvian and Lithuanian startups…we now need the rest of Europe and the European Union to follow suit,” Index Ventures partner Martin Mignot said in a statement.
Index Ventures now ranks Latvia as the most “startup-friendly” country in Europe, following a legislative change to the country’s stock option policy. Neighbours Estonia and Lithuania claim the next top spots.
This comes amid a sustained campaign by Index and other entrepreneurs to make it easier to give employees options — seen as a way of aligning incentives between employees and their company. France changed its options rules earlier this year.
New data from the Dealroom x Sifted European Startups project, backed by the European Commission and European Parliament, produced for Index Ventures’ Not Optional – Making Europe the Most Entrepreneurial Continent summit shows that the value of European tech companies has increased rapidly.