EOT advice and implementation at a fixed price!

For UK Companies Considering the Benefits of Employee Ownership:  Comprehensive support from a leading EOT solicitor to take your business into a successful EOT. With over 50 companies supported, more than 3,000 employee-owners created, at a combined value exceeding £400 million – contact us for support to implement and the back up you need for future success!

About Christian Wilson

Christian Wilson is an Employee Ownership Specialist with 25 years’ experience in Business Law. He created employee-ownership-trusts.co.uk to help companies understand more about how EOT works, the many benefits of EOT – including tax incentives – and how to determine whether EOT is a good option for the future of a company.

Within the legal and business communities, Christian is a trusted figure, called to speak nationally about EOT. He has has been instrumental in helping numerous companies prepare and realise their EOT Strategy, see our case studies.

A partner at Spencer West LLP, an international law firm. Ranked a Leading Individual in Legal 500 and Notable Practitioner in the Chambers guide.

Christian-Wilson

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Getting Started with the Right Support

EOT Guide 2023 - 2024

A concise introduction to Employee Ownership, covering frequently asked questions and where to find the right advice for your succession plan.

Free Bespoke Report

Seriously considering whether EO is right for your company? Take our short questionnaire and we'll generate a bespoke report tailored to your company's structure. It only takes a few minutes!

Ask An Expert

Sometimes it's easier to talk things through. Book a free 30-minute consultation to see if EO is a good fit for your company.
Free download

EOT Guide 2022/23

A thorough 26-page introduction to Employee Ownership, including:
• Why form an EOT? • EOT vs other options • Understanding EOTs: The Fundamentals • Practical issues • Tax incentives • Will you need support?

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Is your business suitable for an EOT?

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Expert EOT advice

Succession of any kind, is a watershed moment for the owners of a business, the company and its employees. When you are about to take that step, it is worth finding and retaining expert assistance which will ensure that your vision becomes the reality.

The support for Employee Ownership Trusts is led by Christian Wilson, a solicitor with over 20 years of experience in advising and supporting businesses through all types of corporate transaction and is now focussed on supporting the rapidly growing world of EOTs.

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We can provide you with a comprehensive and highly experienced level of support to enable you to complete your EOT journey successfully and without any drama.

Employee Ownership

Frequently Asked Questions

EOT Disadvantages are few but every business transaction is unique. Here are the themes and potential issues which are commonly found within each succession option:

Issue: Employee Ownership Management Buy Out Trade Sale
Value Sale at full market value determined by valuation, limited only by the affordability of the company to support the repayment. Value may be restricted by the management team’s willingness to borrow and risk personal liability Price determined by what a buyer is willing to pay. Value may be subject to price chipping and earnouts.
Timing Can be implemented at a time and over a timescale suited to the owners – no other parties are involved. Management team need to be able to proceed, along with any funders. Finding a buyer can take months, possibly years. Out of the blue offers leave owners scrambling to meet buyer deadlines.
Legacy Values and culture can be deeply ingrained into an EO succession. A values document or ‘letter of wishes’ can help steer the company to make principled decisions. Management team may be able to maintain existing culture, but any external investors may wish to focus on delivering short term results. Many company mergers fail because of cultural differences between companies. ‘Synergies’ implemented post completion often lead to redundancies.
Complexity While an EO transaction does require time and consideration of important issues, there is only limited due diligence and no combative legal and financial process. While not as complex as a trade sale, the Management team will need to undertake due diligence and settle terms for repayment of sellers through loan notes along with investor requirements. Robust and thorough due diligence process alongside negotiation of sale terms can lead to complexity and the need for an extensive number of advisers.
Flexibility The founders may continue with the business in the same role or may step away, reducing their commitment or  choosing to be a trustee only. Founders may have a continuing role, but this will depend on what the Management team are prepared to agree. The founders may have short term roles within the business, but often the sale is the end of the relationship with the company.
Costs Fixed costs and transparency should be the norm in an EOT. Complexity of the project will determine costs. The need for parties to have separate advisors will mean higher costs. Trade sales are difficult price because it depends on the buyers adviser’s approach, but likely the most costly option.

When should an EOT be considered?

An EOT is one of a range of choices that might be considered as part of business ownership succession planning.

We encourage clients to explore how this route differs from other choices (typically trade sale or private equity investor sale) to help make an informed choice about the route that is best fit for their objectives and circumstances.

Making use of an EOT does not necessarily preclude a third-party sale at a more distant future date but can provide a framework for continued independence for those companies who wish that.

What is an EOT and how does it work?

Employee Ownership is the name given to the concept of employees becoming co-owners of a company. While there is no formal definition, a company may be considered employee-owned if more than 50% of the shareholding is collectively owned by the employees.

To implement it and to take advantage of the tax incentives, more than 50% percent of the company’s shares need to be acquired by a qualifying EOT.

Furthermore, there is almost no sector or industry that could not consider an Employee Ownership Trust as a future for their business.

What are the Tax advantages?

  • 0% Capital Gains Tax (with no cap) on the sale of more than 50% of shares in a trading company in the tax year the EOT becomes the majority shareholder
  • Profit shares to the employees can take advantage of up to £3600 free of income tax for every employee, every year
  • Benefits of employee ownership

    Tax reliefs are not the only driving force behind the increasing use of EOTs. Increased employee engagement from direct or indirect ownership also supports:
  • Higher productivity and innovation;
  • Better financial performance;
  • Lower absenteeism;
  • Higher employee commitment;
  • Higher resistance to market volatility; and
  • Lower staff turnover.
  • Talk to our team

    Book a call with Christian or a member of his team to find out how you can start your journey to employee ownership.