Sell your business or pass it on tax-efficiently with Employee Ownership Trusts

Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) offer business owners looking for an exit strategy an opportunity to sell their shares to an employee-owned trust free from Capital Gains Tax, whilst also rewarding their team.

EOTs are becoming far more common, with 250 new EOTs being established in the 18 months to June 2021 alone – could they offer you the perfect exit strategy?

How do EOTs work?

Employees do not directly own shares, as they are transferred to a trust that later benefits them through the payment of dividends or bonuses. This is similar to existing cooperative business models, like John Lewis.

In order to create an EOT, existing shareholder(s) must sell at least 51% of the share capital of the company to the trust.

It is often the case that some of the consideration payable by the trust is contributed by the company. However, it isn’t uncommon for some external funding to be used alongside this.

If some of the consideration is deferred, then this is usually paid out of future profits of the company.

What are the benefits of EOTs?

Employees in an EOT have a stake in the company but do not become owners and do not have control – that remains with the board of directors.

This new relationship encourages all involved to drive the company forward, increasing productivity and job satisfaction as well as the financial rewards.

There are a number of other benefits to consider, including:

If you want to learn more about the potential tax savings offered by EOTs, please contact us.

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