Finn Mauritzen's Blog (27)

Worker Ownership - What is it?

This article describes in-depth the difference between Employee Stock Ownership Plans and worker cooperatives as well as the difference between worker cooperatives and unions. In addition, it details how worker cooperatives function and how they are different from traditional companies. The example is about breweries, but the concept applies to any industry.…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 13, 2019 at 10:30am — No Comments

What to do with the capital gains when you sell your business

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides a new way to shelter capital gains when you convert your traditional business to a worker cooperative. Actually, it works for any realized capital gain.

Qualified Opportunity Zones

Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 3, 2019 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Financing for Startups and Conversions

Forbes has provided a great primer on Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). They are not just for startups. They also work when you want to convert your traditional business to a worker cooperative.

When Banks Say No, Where Do You Go?

Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 3, 2019 at 2:43pm — No Comments

False Assumptions Kill Deals

The assumptions you make about the value of your business are far more likely to kill your sale than a lack of buyers. Buyers want to buy businesses but only if they have value. Does yours?

False Assumptions About Your Business Value and Retirement Readiness

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 26, 2019 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Colorado Launches Initiative to Boost Employee Ownership

This article mentions a dry cleaning business that had to be closed and jobs were lost. The initiative would have provided up to $10,000 in incentives to convert it to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). For such a small business, even a $10,000 incentive may not have made an ESOP feasible. A better choice may have been converting it to a Worker Cooperative or an Employee Ownership Trust both of which are less heavily regulated and therefore easier and less costly to set up and…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 22, 2019 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Management Buyout Alternative

From a seller perspective, converting a business to a worker cooperative is similar to a management buyout. Instead of just one or a few of the employees, most of the employees will become owners. This presents a few advantages over the simple buyout. First, with more buyers, a greater portion of the purchase price may be provided by the buyers directly. Second, more financial stakeholders increases their overall commitment to its success. Third, more committed buyers means safety of…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 18, 2019 at 10:05am — No Comments

A Case for Seller Financing

A management buyout is the most common exit plan for small business owners. Most want to sell to a third-party, but only one in five actually succeed. Management buy-outs will almost always have to be financed somehow and traditional owner financing will be subordinate to all other financing. Why not consider financing the whole deal if you can? A Case for Seller…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 11, 2019 at 9:58am — No Comments

Four Fundamental Retirement Questions

Retiring business owners have some challenges in common with other retirees. In other ways retirement planning is very different. Retiring is not as simple as giving notice at work. Exiting a business takes careful planning and that takes time. Start with these Four Fundamental Questions.

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 7, 2019 at 10:53am — No Comments

Prepare to sell your business

Even if you convert your business to a worker cooperative, you still need to do some fundamental things as when you sell the old fashioned way.

How to Prepare to Sell Your Business

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 4, 2019 at 11:30am — No Comments

Don't sell your business. Convert it.

Who are the most motivated buyers when you want to sell your small business? It's not who you think. I'm talking about your employees. They literally have everything to lose when you sell or close. Preserve your legacy. Get fair market value. The process is non-adversarial and collaborative. 

Convert your business to a worker cooperative

Added by Finn Mauritzen on February 27, 2019 at 2:23pm — No Comments

Is Your Business Salable? Is it Profitable?

It is not enough to want to sell your business. Someone is actually going to want to buy it. Is it salable? Is it profitable? Will it continue to be? That's what all buyers care about.

Sell Your Business to Your Employees

Added by Finn Mauritzen on February 21, 2019 at 4:36pm — No Comments

Interview with David Barnett

Yesterday, I was invited to talk to David Barnett, author of How to Sell my Own Business: A guide to selling your own business privately and not pay a broker's commission. We talked a little about what cooperatives are and how you convert an existing business to worker ownership. 

Interview with David Barnett

Added by Finn Mauritzen on January 11, 2019 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Employee Owned Companies Perform Better

It makes sense that employee owned companies would perform better, but there was no real proof - until now. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) created the Employee Ownership Index on the trading platform. The Index beats the S&P500 decisively. Take a look: Employee Ownership Index

Added by Finn Mauritzen on December 31, 2018 at 10:27am — No Comments

Artists Cooperative Not Just for Artists

This artists' cooperative has been around since 1988. It makes perfect sense for a group of artists to share the task of marketing their art cooperatively.

Even better, the concept can be implemented by many other solopreneurs. Independence is the number one motivation for becoming self-employed. By marketing your products or services cooperatively, you can share the cost and still maintain your independence.…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on November 27, 2018 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Relationships Matter

This week, I attended a resource meeting at the Stonebridge Country Club. Not once, but twice, I found myself listening to people explaining to other people what worker cooperatives are so I didn't have to. You can't buy this stuff for money. This is what happens when you show up consistently, making connections and making friends.

My job is to explain something that is unfamiliar to most people. When people begin to do my job for me, I think I have reached a milestone. It didn't…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on September 7, 2018 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Do Not Start a Business

Starting a business on your own is really hard. Chances of success are really low. Fortunately, there is a better way. Start one together. Start a worker cooperative.

Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 14, 2018 at 10:34am — No Comments

Work is Changing

Soon there will be more freelancers, contract or on-demand workers than traditionally employed workers. That presents some significant challenges, but there are solutions: Worker cooperatives.

Work is Changing for Self-employed, Freelance, Gig and On-demand Workers

Added by Finn Mauritzen on April 16, 2018 at 2:33pm — No Comments

Retiring Business Owners Transition to Worker Ownership

This Maine espresso cafe/bookstore owner preserved her business, rewarded the employees who helped her build it and secured adequate retirement funds for herself by transferring ownership to her employees. And so can you.…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 30, 2018 at 4:15pm — No Comments

The Emotional Retirement

You may think that your biggest concern when you want to retire is having enough money for you and your family to live a decent lifestyle. That is of course important, but have you thought about what you will be doing for the next 40 years or so? For some of us, our identity is totally tied to what we do as business owners or in our jobs. Will we still have meaning and purpose when that changes? What about friends? If they are still working, will they still have time to talk to us? Have you…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 23, 2018 at 4:18pm — No Comments

Emotional Retirement

When you retire, you really retire three times: Physically, financially and emotionally. For many, the emotional retirement can be the most challenging of the the three. You need to create a new identity for yourself and often a new social circle of friends. None of that is easy. 

Emotional Retirement

Added by Finn Mauritzen on February 26, 2018 at 6:27pm — No Comments


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