An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a qualified retirement plan (like a 401(k)) that buys, holds and sells company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing them with an ownership stake in the company.
Why Sell to an ESOP?
- Selling to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) provides a business owner with a ready market to sell all or a portion of the company, providing the owner with diversification and liquidity
- Selling to an ESOP allows a business owner a way to sell the company while still retaining control of the company in a gradual transition
- If certain requirements are met, the business owner can defer or avoid taxation on the gain
- An ESOP allows a business owner to reward the employees who helped establish and build the company and to preserve the company, jobs and owner's legacy
- S Corporation ESOPs are not subject to income taxation, increasing cash flow and providing the company with a competitive advantage
- ESOP loans can also be used to acquire another company, refinance debt or otherwise reinvest in the company
- ESOP loan payments are tax-deductible, enabling a company to borrow at a lower after-tax cost
- Studies have demonstrated that ESOP companies grow faster than their non-ESOP counterparts
To explore more of these benefits in detail, we encourage you to read our blog series on "Selling to an ESOP" using the links included here: