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It's the exit plan that allows you to pass on your business, guarantee jobs and improve employee engagement. But how does employee ownership work?

What is an employee-owned business?

An employee-owned business is one where the employees, rather than external shareholders, hold the majority of the shares - either directly or through an employee benefits trust which buys the business on their behalf.

An ideal exit strategy

Dennis Overton, managing director of Aquascot

Selling your business to your employees, rather than to another company, can be more beneficial for you, the business, and the employees.

What are the benefits?

Employee ownership gives you a competitive price and a guaranteed exit from your business. The process and the model reduce the risks that are usually associated with transferring ownership and leadership too.

Employee ownership is not just good for you – it’s good for the business as well. The model safeguards the future of the business – making sure that it stays in Scotland, and keeps people in jobs.

Employee-owned businesses often see a rise in motivation and engagement in their workforce: when everyone has an interest in how the company performs, everyone works harder to make sure it does the best it can. The spike in productivity and innovation – essential for the survival of a business – also lead to better overall job satisfaction.

Co-operative Development Scotland can help you decide on the best model of employee ownership for your business.

Find out more about employee ownership

Download the employee ownership guide (PDF, 233KB)

Employee ownership in action