An ESOP can be a very attractive path for business owners and employees alike. Using a disciplined, time-tested approach, our team of former Big Four partners assists business owners and their legal team/advisors in analyzing all of their potential alternatives and the related tax effects of an ESOP.

The Bonadio Group provides ongoing accounting, tax, and transaction services to more ESOPs than any other CPA firm in Upstate NY. And, we continue to serve the company and the ESOP plan long after other consultants have completed their services and exited.

We serve all of the participants in an ESOP arrangement:

  1. Owner/seller of the business
  2. The ESOP plan and its trustee(s)
  3. The business that is subject of the ESOP
  4. Lending institutions that may be financing an ESOP transaction
  5. Legal advisors

The Bonadio team can help you with complex, multidimensional ESOP arrangements. Our services include:

  • Preliminary assessment: Based on decades of experience and the most recent ESOP trends, we listen carefully to the owner/seller’s objectives and needs, we preliminarily assess the industry, the business, and the management and workforce, and provide guidance on applicability of an ESOP to the situation.
  • Feasibility analysis: We prepare a financial and tax analysis for the business cash flow (including future repurchase obligations of ESOP-owned shares), effects of the ESOP transaction and any financing involved, tax effects to business and owner/seller, and overall owner/seller results.
  • Transaction structure and design: Based on the specific needs of the participants to the ESOP, we advise on alternative entity structures, amount of equity to sell, financing arrangements, timing of transactions, tax elections, executive compensation and other long-term incentive plans, in addition to ESOP and many other options and features.
  • Financing: We assist in structuring the financing for any leveraged ESOP transaction, and we negotiate with financial institutions that are experienced in ESOP lending.
  • Professional Liaisons: We coordinate/quarterback the ESOP-related activities of professional advisors, including business attorneys, ESOP plan attorneys/trustees, valuation firms, lending institutions, HR communication firms, and a company’s own financial and HR personnel.
  • Sec. 1042 (tax-free rollover) consulting: We assist owner/sellers who seek the benefits of this tax election, identifying and evaluating alternatives, and projecting the long-term effects of the arrangement.

ESOPs can be implemented from all types of entities. We provide ESOP advisement to a wide range of entities that are, or desire to be, owned by an ESOP plan, including: - C corporations - S corporations - LLCs/partnerships - Professional service businesses (with licensed professionals)

In many cases, implementation may require business or legal entity reorganization or restructuring to accomplish the ESOP solution, and our tax team has decades of experience in implementing such restructurings.

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