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Is it worth the cost and aggravation for small companies to share ownership with their employees?

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees may want to provide what amounts to stock options for their workers so they can share in the success of the business, but find the legal costs and paperwork too challenging.

A group call the National Center for Employee Ownership is trying to make it a viable option for small employers. The organization has released its “Conceptual Guide to Employee Ownership for Very Small Businesses,” which explores the different options in plain English so small employers can judge for themselves whether it’s worthwhile.

“Companies share ownership with employees for a variety of reasons,” the organization says. “For some people, the reason may be simply “it’s the right thing to do.” For most others, however, there are purely practical reasons to share ownership. Employee ownership can have benefits for owners of businesses, employees, and their companies.”

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