[CIRD92000] R&D tax relief: SME definition: change of status to and from SME
Preservation of status – transition period
Generally, where at the balance sheet date an enterprise goes over, or falls below, the staff headcount, or financial thresholds (CIRD91800), this will not result in a change of status from SME to large company, or vice versa, until the position is repeated for the second consecutive year.
So, for example, if company A has 480 employees in year one but goes up to 510 employees in year 2 it will remain a SME for year 2. If however it still has at least 500 employees in year 3 it will be a large company for year 3.