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I made a comment in a Recommended Post yesterday.  It got over 40 tips. Seems like an idea, which should get more traction, more discussion than it usually does.

regarding [the]

"just go around them" concept ...


It occurred to me recently, that if there were an comprehensive, easy-to-use "paperwork" website (similar to LegalZoom.com)

Except this website, would arm people with the paperwork,
to create their own robust and fair businesses

-- Employee-owned businesses --

complete with equitable profit-sharing plans, and decision input, divisions of labor, trust fund creation, etc. etc.


That if that resource was available,
that the face of corporate corruption,
could be made extinct an evil caricature of itself, within a decade.

We could call it:  EmployeeZoom.com

or something more to the point.  (NinetyNinerProfits.com)


Today, I decided to follow up on that people-powered idea ...

Necessity is sometimes the mother of invention;  and sometimes the Wheel (however bumpy) is already there ... just waiting to be rediscovered.

Most of us work some 40-odd years, to end up living out our years on "Golden Pond." Wouldn't it be nice if those golden years could be lived out comfortably, and with security?  Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually enjoy the fruits of our 40-odd years of effective, if not often, tedious labors?

Information is power ... at least it used to be. If only Employees actually knew, and could actually re-organize and re-direct, some of the value of our ideas and our labor.  The moral of the story, might end up a happy and productive one, even as we fight so hard to somehow achieve, that "better world" goal.



How to Start an Employee-Owned Company

by Owen E. Richason IV, Demand Media -- smallbusiness.chron.com

Step 1

Establish an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). An employee-owned company is based on the distribution of voting shares to employees who may or may not have ultimate control of the business. [...]

Step 2

Determine your financing sources. If the company is new and does not yet exist, financing sources can come from traditional sources such as a bank or lending institution. Go to the Small Business Association's website for information about obtaining small-business loans and micro-loans (see Resources). If the company already exists, financing for restructuring the business can come from banks or lending institutions. [...]

Step 3

Organize or reorganize the business structure. If the company is already established and you are converting to an employee-owned business, you may wish to restructure the company to more efficiently implement policies, procedures and management. The structure is entirely up to the converting company and its new employee-owners. They may wish to elect a board of directors to run the company or choose managers by voting. If the company is new, the employee members will be asked to vote on possible company structures and if they will have a direct vote or set up a board or managers to run the company. In addition, the employee members will have to decide how new members are accepted into the company. For instance, do new members have a probationary period before becoming vested, or do they buy directly into the cooperative?

Step 4

Implement the ESOP. This will likely be done by an attorney or tax professional. [...]


How Does an Employee-Owned Company Work?

by Falice Chin, Demand Media -- smallbusiness.chron.com

[...] Today, there are approximately  11,300 companies in the U.S. that are structured under the employee stock-ownership plan (ESOP), according to the National Center for Employee Ownership. Under an ESOP, a company sets up a trust fund, buys shares with that money, then distributes those shares to its employees periodically. When an employee decides to leave the company, it then buys back the shares at a fair market price, allowing the employee to cash out with whatever amount of stock she has accumulated over the years. Unlike a 401(k) plan, though, not all employees are automatically eligible, and contributions to an ESOP by the employer do not belong to an employee until after a specified vesting period.
[...]


Advantages of an ESOP

There are several advantages to ESOPs. The most attractive one is the tax incentive. A company can, for example, borrow money through an ESOP, then deduct both the repayment and its interest, thus reducing the cost of financing an expansion. Employees, on the other hand, have a chance to watch their stake in the company grow over time. The monetary value of stock growth is also tax-free until the day they cash out. That money can also be rolled over to another approved retirement plan, giving some flexibility to retiring employees. Finally, the most popular argument for ESOPs is that it confers the ownership, and therefore pride, of a business to its employees. When the people who work in a company also own the place, they should put in more effort and dedication, similar to the way a homeowner would treat his house versus a rental unit.
[...]


A Brief Overview of Employee Ownership in the U.S.

National Center for Employee Ownership -- nceo.org

A nonprofit membership organization providing unbiased information and research on broad-based employee stock plans

We at the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) estimate that, among companies that have stock, about 36% of the work force own stock in their employers through one kind of plan or another. Those roughly 28 million employee owners represent an astonishing growth over the last 40 years, when probably not more than one million employees owned stock in their employers. [...]

Major Approaches to Employee Ownership

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs): These are defined contribution plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). They operate through a plan trust. Generally, all full-time employees working for 1,000 hours or more per year become participants in the plans. They receive allocations of stock in their accounts from contributions made by the company and, very rarely, by their own purchases. Allocations must be made on the basis of relative pay or some more equitable formula. Allocations are subject to vesting, and vested account balances are paid out following retirement, death, disability, termination, or a diversification election open to certain plan participants.

Almost all ESOPs are in successful closely held companies and are most commonly used to buy shares from one or more owners using tax-deductible corporate funds. About 40% of all ESOPs own or will own 100% of the company. ESOPs range in size from companies with 10 or 20 employees to companies with tens of thousands.


ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Facts -- esop.org
Examples of Major ESOP Companies

ESOPs can be found in all kinds of sizes of companies. Some of the more notable majority employee owned companies are Publix Supermarkets (over 145,000 employees), Nypro (18,000 employees), Lifetouch (18,000 employees), W.L. Gore and Associates (Maker of Gore-Tex, 8,000 employees), and Davey Tree Company (7,000 employees). Companies with ESOPs and other broad-based employee ownership plans account for well over half of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list year after year.


The Employee Ownership 100: America's Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies

nceo.org -- June 2012

Companies must be at least 50% owned by an ESOP or other qualified plan or by one or more other kinds of plans in which at least 50% of full-time employees are eligible to participate. Companies marked by an asterisk in their names are 100% employee-owned. [...]



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[Note: the original charts in the source link from nceo.org, can be sorted by clicking a column header. The Chart images were sorted by "Industry".]


Great Employee-Owned Workplaces -- NCEO.org -- National Center for Employee Ownership




Steps to Setting Up an ESOP  -- nceo.org

(1) Determine Whether Other Owners Are Amenable
(2) Conduct a Feasibility Study
(3) Conduct a Valuation
(4) Hire an ESOP Attorney
(5) Obtain Funding for the Plan
(6) Establish a Process to Operate the Plan
[Note: those basic steps are described in detail, on the linked source page.]




Isn't it long past time, we invented the Right to Work for MORE?

It's OUR sweat-equity, afterall.  The last time the One Percenters broke a sweat, was when their Taxes finally went UP, despite Congress' worst well-funded, status-quo intentions.

Isn't it long past time, that the Profit-Makers, are finally invited into the exclusive domain of the Profit-Takers?  

Let the 1% Profit-Takers work the floors, staff the desks, muscle the freight ... Let's see how long their Business lasts then ... not very, would be my sweat-based guess.


PS.   NinetyNinerProfits.com   is still waiting to be created.  If we can only find the will ... and the heart-felt belief that we actually deserve some of the fruits of our life-times of labor.



Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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