What is Employee Ownership?

At thousands of businesses in the United States, employees own a majority of their company’s stock. These “employee-owned” companies employ millions of people who each have the ability to say “I am an owner of this company.” Employee-owners are often more engaged and committed to providing superior products and services. To encourage the connection between the financial stake and entrepreneurial behavior, employee-owned companies often practice a participatory management style that encourages all employees to “think and act like owners.” This article provides a brief overview of the different types of employee ownership plans. For an introduction to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), esopinfo.org, a new website developed by the NCEO, provides a visual overview of how ESOPs work,the history of ESOPs, their benefits, and more.

Employee Ownership in California

Employee Stock Ownership Plans

Other Types of Equity Compensation Plans

Build an Ownership Culture

Getting Started

Here are some steps you can take to learn more about employee ownership and determine what type of employee ownership plan might be right for your company.


Learn more about employee ownership and how it might relate to your company through our additional resources, including this free webinar on ESOP feasibility offered by the National Center for Employee Ownership.


Contact the Beyster Institute for a free introductory consultation on whether an ESOP or other employee ownership plan may be beneficial for your company by filling out this form or contacting Tony Mathews.


Receive a free registration to the meeting “Is an ESOP right for you?” offered by the National Center for Employee Ownership by contacting Camille Kerr.


Receive a complimentary six-month membership with the National Center for Employee Ownership, which includes free introductory consulting and discounts on NCEO books and meetings by contacting Camille Kerr.

We the Owners

The Foundation for Enterprise Development has released the trailer for “We the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream,” a full length documentary on employee ownership.

Partnering Organizations

The Beyster Institute at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. We focus on education, research and consulting to promote employee ownership and the creation of effective ownership cultures.

About the CCEO

The California Center for Employee Ownership (CCEO) provides information and resources to promote a better understanding of employee ownership in California. Our resources can help you determine if employee ownership is a good option for your company, whether you’re looking to sell all or part of your business, create a market for company shares, engage your employees, attract and retain talent, or are just interested in the concept.