October 6, 2018

It's easier now for retiring owners to sell business to a worker cooperative

Yes Magazine -Business owners looking to sell their companies to their employees just got a helping hand from the federal government. It’s the first such measure that’s passed Congress in more than 20 years.

Tucked into the omnibus National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Trump in August 2018 was language directing the U.S. Small Business Administration to help retiring owners sell their businesses to their employees, either as a worker cooperative or as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

The measure was backed by an array of nonprofit advocates of employee ownership, including the ESOP Association, the National Urban League, the American Sustainable Business Council, and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. According to Melissa Hoover of the nonprofit Democracy at Work Institute, it is the first federal legislation ever to explicitly name worker cooperatives as an SBA priority.

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