As a Business Owner

What will be your legacy?

The Wisconsin Center for Employee Ownership serves as the central hub for information and resources regarding transitioning Wisconsin businesses to an employee ownership model 


Why is this a key moment for employee ownership in WI?

Employee ownership is a business model in which employees collectively own a percentageof the business for which they work. Two of the main forms are Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives. In both, employees are given a financial stake in the business. As the business prospers, employees prosper.

  • Over the next 10 years, more than 2.4 million U.S. businesses owned by retiring baby boomers will change hands or dissolve
  • More than half of all small business owners do not have a succession plan
  • Many businesses will be sold and leave the state of WI, or close their doors permanently, resulting in lost jobs, tax base, and community impacts

Why consider employee ownership?

  • It is an ownership succession plan that preserves jobs and community impacts, while giving the selling shareholders preferred tax treatment
  • It is a proven strategy for employee recruitment and retention
  • When employees have a stake in the company’s success, everyone benefits

How can the Wisconsin Center for Employee Ownership help?

  • The WICEO's mission is to educate business owners and their advisors (lawyers, bankers, accountants, wealth advisors) on the benefits of employee ownership via ESOPs, worker cooperatives, and Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs). WICEO provides resources, case studies and articles, and a list of service providers who can assist with employee ownership transitions. WICEO serves the entire state of Wisconsin.

Business Succession Planning

Get our free guide to Business Succession Planning and secure your company's future after your exit. Learn exit planning strategies and gain the knowledge and skills to prepare your business for a successful transition.

The Impact of Employee Ownership

According to a 2017 study done by the National Center for Employee Ownership young workers at employee-owned companies benefit in the following ways:

Percent Higher Median Income from Wages

Percent Higher Household Net Wealth

Percent Higher Median Job Tenure