Ownership Dividend – One year on: partnership focus FSB

The EOA is delighted to grow its partnership activity with the FSB, linked to the growth of employee ownership amongst SMEs in the UK.

Activity at the beginning of the year has included the Guide to EO being actively distributed through the FSB Legal Hub and an article about employee ownership has been published in the FSB’s publication First Voice. This activity has generated a number of enquiries from businesses about employee ownership.

Recent data shows that the shape and size of the employee owned sector is changing. Once reliant on a handful of large businesses, more recently there has been growth in employee ownership as a succession option for SMEs and family businesses.

There are now 370 employee owned businesses in the UK with 60% of conversions to employee ownership happening since 2014 – the year that the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) was introduced in Finance Bill 2014.

This flexibility of the EOT, including tax advantages for the exiting business owner and on dividends for the employees, alongside high profile transitions such as Aardman Animations and Richer Sounds are believed to behind the increase in growth in the sector.

New activity has now been agreed with FSB, with a number of seminars being planned for quarter four 2019, to help support businesses on their thinking around succession – with employee ownership explored as one of the options.