12 Benefits of Selling to an ESOP (#1)






Benefit #1 of selling to an ESOP: The sale of the company to the ESOP is being paid for by the company tax and cash flow savings over time.  An ESOP is one of the most cash and tax-efficient succession plans available to business owners. 

The portion of a company owned by an S Corporation ESOP is not subject to federal or state income taxation, increasing cash flow and providing the company with a competitive advantage. This means that S Corporations that are 100% ESOP-owned are not subject to any federal or state income taxes, increasing cash flow and providing the company with a competitive advantage. 

Is An ESOP Right For Your Company

Check out this brief animated video to learn more about ESOPs. 

An ESOP is a Qualified Retirement Plan

An ESOP is a Qualified Retirement Plan 

ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan that can be used as a business transition tool and as an employee ownership vehicle.

An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is an IRS qualified retirement plan, similar to a 401(K) Plan, that buys, holds, sells company stock, providing employees with an ownership stake in the company, as well as an additional form of compensation directly linked to success of the company. 

  •  ESOPs and 401(k) plans are both tax deferred retirement plans that are funded by pre-tax contributions.
  • While 401(k) Plans are funded with employer and employee contributions, most ESOPs are funded exclusively with company contributions. This means that most ESOPs are provided by the company at no cost to the employees.
  • While 401(k) Plans are invested in stock and bonds and other investments, ESOPs are the only retirement plan that is allowed to be primarily invested in employer securities of the company.
  • While 401(k) Plan account values are generally updated on a daily basis based on the results of the stock market, ESOP account values are generally updated once per year. This is because most ESOPs own privately held stock.  Since there is not a stock market for privately held stock, the ESOP trustee has to obtain a valuation from an independent appraiser once per year.
  • A leveraged ESOP is the only retirement plan that is allowed to borrow money. It is also the only retirement plan allowed to enter transactions with “parties-in-interest” (e.g. the company, owners).  These special ESOP rules allow ESOPs to be able to purchase stock from the company or owners of the company.

Check out this brief animated video to learn more about ESOPs. 

Did  you know? Employee Owned Companies are 235% Better at Job Retention!  

10 Traits of an Effective Executive Sponsor

During times of change, senior leaders play a key role as an executive sponsor. According to Prosci’s,  Best Practices in Change Management – 2018 Edition, the greatest contributor to a successful change initiative is “active and visible executive sponsorship”.

An executive sponsor is typically a C-Suite leader who oversees a business unit and is responsible for meeting project deadlines. They oversee projects and keep them aligned with the organization's strategy and direction.

During an ESOP implementation and ongoing support and buy-in, the role of the executive sponsor sets the tone for how employee-ownership is embraced in the organization. 

Tie Culture to Performance Management

Building an ownership culture begins with defining and communicating organizational purpose and values, tying them to your performance management process, and rewarding employees for their contributions. Building a People Strategy around your ideal culture will generate change.

Part 2 of a 3-part series

Recruiting Advantages as an Employee Owned Company

The landscape in today’s job market for hiring companies is difficult, especially with the unemployment rate at 4.1% for the past three months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment rates are at the lowest since 2000. Employers continue to need top talent to grow operations. This was evident with December’s jobs report indicating, once again, that we added jobs, another 148,000 to be exact. Companies have added 2.1 million employees in 2017 and 2.2 million employees in 2016, so it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. 

4 Steps to Implement a Mentoring Process

It takes a concerted effort – in time, energy, and resources – to keep good employees. One method that gets results is to establish a mentorship program. It might not be easy because you’ll need buy-in at all levels of your company, but it’ll be well worth the effort. With the potential for five generations in your workforce, a program that matches new employees with company veterans can pay huge long-term dividends.

Keep Your ESOP On Track and On Time
12 Benefits of Incorporating an ESOP in your Business Exit Strategy

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