Sell your business onto your workforce with an employee ownership trust

8th April 2012

You’ve spent a lifetime building up your business and the thought on retirement of selling out to your business rivals may be unpalatable and selling to your own management team may not be feasible – there is an alternative. Allowing your staff, through an employee ownership trust, to take ownership through a phased transition allows the legacy that your have built up to be continued, whilst allowing you to take a back seat from your business through to your retirement. It also preserves business culture and employments and gives you a trade sale exit without the usual haggling and due diligence. Usually, you will have to defer receipt of sale consideration under this exit structure, trusting that future business profits will remain strong enough to generate sufficient cash flow to settle this debt.

Popular in the US, where 1 in 5 employees working in the private sector now own a stake in their employer businesses, this model is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. This model is attractive to the UK Government, with £50m annually put-a-side in tax breaks for companies, their owners and their employees. It has been found that revenue, productivity and ultimately profitability improves within these businesses.

Whitings corporate finance team can advise whether this employee ownership trust model is suitable for you, the tax implications for both you and your staff, and the financing and corporate requirements, to ensure the transition of ownership is handled effectively and efficiently.

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