ESOP Considerations for Trusted Advisors (CLE)

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January 26, 2024 CSG Partners Staff

Middle-market businesses valuing continued autonomy, tax-efficiency, and meaningful staff benefits, have increasingly turned to leveraged ESOPs as shareholder liquidity strategies. Yet many legal professionals have limited employee ownership knowledge. 

This CLE course is a must for trusted counsel and transaction-focused attorneys. Take a deep dive on employee ownership strategies with a pair of nationally-recognized experts. Learn how ESOPs are formed, function, and fit in a company's strategic roadmap through case studies and statute review.


Register now for this free CLE course.


Learn the legal concepts behind employee ownership.

Earn up to 1.5 pre-approved CLE credits and save $99 on this free course. Steve Berman and Polsinelli's Stanley Bulua lead this comprehensive webinar. M&A, tax, trust, estate and business succession practitioners can benefit from this highly-rated course.

CLE Course Highlights

  • Explains how leveraged ESOPs can be used as business transition and/or shareholder diversification strategies
  • Reviews applicable statutory, regulatory, and fiduciary requirements, as well as relevant case law
  • Examines the special tax rules and estate planning opportunities associated with ESOP transactions
  • Shares commonly available transaction financing options
  • Identifies instances in which an ESOP sale can serve as a viable M&A alternative

Why are leveraged ESOPs meaningful liquidity strategies?

An ESOP is a qualified, defined contribution employee benefit plan that invests primarily in the stock of a company. ESOP plans are "qualified" in that, in return for meeting certain rules designed to protect the interests of participants, plan sponsors receive substantial tax benefits.

Business owners can sell all or a portion of their stock in a business to an employee trust, in a tax-advantaged transaction. ESOPs are permitted to borrow money from or on the credit of the employer to purchase stock from the selling shareholder.

Depending on structure, an employee-owned company can become a nontaxable entity and access money, that would have otherwise been paid to taxes, to amortize the debt used to finance the transaction. In addition to providing business owners a means to diversify their assets and gain liquidity, an ESOP is an employee benefit plan that allows a company to attract and retain key personnel.

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