Successful Cooperative Ownership Transitions: Case Studies on the Conversion of Privately Held Businesses to Worker Cooperatives

Courtney Berner, Michaela Holmes, Anne Reynolds, and Joe Rinehart

The idea of selling a business to its employees and converting it to a worker owned cooperative is gaining traction as a viable succession strategy. It is a strategy that saves jobs, builds community wealth, and empowers workers to own and manage their own business. Worker cooperatives differ from other business entity types in that they are owned and democratically controlled by their workers, and workers share in the risk and reward of operating the business.

Becoming Employee-Owned

Camille Kerr, Joe Rinehart

Becoming Employee-Owned is a guide for business owners interested in employee ownership. It provides an overview of the three primary transition approaches for employee ownership: worker cooperatives, ESOPs, and management buy-outs. Regardless of what stage the business is in--from expansion to succession planning-- this resource can help business owners understand their options for becoming an employee-owned company.

Decisions in the Process of Business Transition (Who Decides What?)


Before a cooperative transition process can get started, the selling owner needs to make some decisions about how to structure the process, specifically she needs to clearly define who has decision-making power in the process: herself, the transition committee, the likely coop members, and the whole group. This chart outlines who decides what.  

Subscribe to RSS - Buy-outs