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Options, taxation and entrepreneurial business

In the US, the option instrument has taken on a crucial role in the entrepreneurial sector. How can it be that options are used considerably less and seem to work worse in Sweden, a country with significant start-ups and venture capital? Can tax rules be reformed so that the benefits of the option instrument. It is not only the US and Sweden that differ in the degree of (external) venture capital to innovative companies. Even in many other countries, especially in Europe, the venture capital market has developed weakly. How can this be explained?

Project manager
Project participants
Tino Sanandaji

In order to answer the above questions, we intend to investigate and explain (i) how entrepreneurial companies are built; (ii) why options can be an effective way to reward key employees – especially those who make entrepreneurial decisions; (iii) how options should be treated for tax purposes; and (iv) the importance of contractual flexibility for institutional investors. In particular, we intend to analyze the use of options in growing entrepreneurial companies, not in listed companies with widespread ownership.

Our main hypothesis is that differences between the use of options to create effective agreements between entrepreneurs and key employees on the one hand and external financiers on the other is to search the design of the tax system. We will therefore first seek to identify in detail crucial differences in the Swedish and US tax rules in this regard and then, at a slightly less detailed level, do so for as wide a selection of countries as possible.