The short answer is yes 🎉. Though there are a couple of things to be mindful of.
Stock options are a great benefit which can unite team members in efforts to build and grow successful.
The first things to know is that you’ll be issuing NSOs (Non-Statutory Options), not ISOs (Incentive Stock Options). This is not a significant issue in most countries—usually, there's no distinction in tax treatment between different types of stock options, so, in most of the cases, you don’t have to worry about that. There're, though, countries where you have just one option and it’s simple. In those countries (like UK) you have different options for stock plan and they have different tax implications.
You can issue stock options out of your stock plan for everybody who can prove that they have a service relationship with your company. They can be either an employee of yours or an employee of your subsidiary, your contractor or a contractor of your subsidiary. All you need to do is prove that they are doing the work for you. It doesn't matter what their actual legal employment status is.
As always, remember you need to comply with local law. In this case, be sure to check local tax regulations before you decide to give stock options to remote contractors.
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