About Employee Ownership



Broad-based employee ownership refers to business structures that offer every full-time employee an avenue towards becoming an owner of that business. Employees may own the business in-part or in whole, directly or indirectly. Broad-based employee ownership is distinct from other types of employee benefits that offer equity or profit sharing only to selected employees, executives, or managers. While models of broad-based employee ownership differ, all employee-owned companies benefit three key groups:

Business owners. Selling business owners use employee ownership as a tool to create an (often tax advantaged) internal market for their company shares while preserving their legacy as business owner and/or founder

Employees. Employee owners benefit from greater economic security and deeper participation in their companies

Local communities. Employee ownership protects companies from closing or relocating while preserving local jobs and increasing individual wealth

As a general rule, everyone thrives under broad-based employee ownership. Business owners rest easier knowing their companies will thrive under the new ownership structure, employee owners flourish under the knowledge that they will benefit directly from their hard work, and communities are revitalized as quality jobs are preserved and created.


Common forms of broad-based employee ownership are: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (also known as ESOPs), worker-owned cooperatives, and employee ownership trusts. 


Benefits of Employee Ownership


In most cases, Employee Ownership benefits everyone involved, including company founders and owners, employees, companies, and local communities.

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Worker Cooperatives


Worker-owned cooperatives are owned and governed by employees, who share company profits together.

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Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)


ESOPs are employee benefit plans that acquire company stock and hold it in accounts on behalf of employees.

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Vermont Employee-Owned Companies


Vermont is home to more than 40 employee-owned companies, including companies with ESOPs and worker-owned cooperatives.

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