Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Operating as an extended team to the business owner and their financial team as a project CFO.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Service Summary

Quest serves as a facilitator and project manager for their customers via our Change package which focuses on significant changes to equity of a business inclusive of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). These are services performed for lower middle market business owners and their businesses.  

Pros of an ESOP

Can be a great solution if the company size and amount of shareholders has grown making it more desirable to have a common exit plan

Could be a tighter knit culture with all employees feeling empowered to lead and execute for a common purpose and continue the existing culture

Going through the process could be transformative to the business as every facet of succession planning comes to light

Succession planning and business continuity can be a continuous process

Ideal Candidates

Is Quest’s ESOP package right for you?

In Quest’s change package, it is designed for the business owner who is ready for the next phase of life.  Most business owners are drawn to the possible tax advantages of an ESOP. If you are a business owner looking to see what your options are for the “next phase” of your business and life ESOP may be an option. 

Advantages of an ESOP

Some of these advantages that a business owner can achieve through an ESOP include:

Sale of S Corp stock to an ESOP advantages are:

1. S Corp income is tax free to the ESOP and the employees participating allowing for more profit and opportunities for more investments in growth of the company.

2. The seller pays tax likely at capital gain rates.

3. The employees pay tax as they distribute cash from the plan or exit the plan.

Sale of C Corp to an ESOP advantages are:

1. C Corp shareholders can roll elect not to recognize gain if they reinvest the proceeds into domestic operating companies’ stocks.

2. C Corp continues to pay tax.

3. Dividends to the ESOP are tax free.

4. The employees pay tax as they distribute cash from the plan or exit the plan. 

Optimized planning options to use C Corp and S Corp advantages over time. 



There are some cons when deciding if a ESOP is right for your business.  These include:

Seller may not receive full value for the business.

Seller may need to offer a significant note receivable to the ESOP.

Management team may not be strong enough or lack the capital to continue growth.

Administrative costs and potential for less productive environment.

More committees and meetings.

It’s never too early to begin working with a strategic business advisor

Wherever you are in your business life cycle, discover how Quest can help you reach your goals and prepare for what’s next.