Ever wondered what it would be like if employees owned the business they work for? Well, it’s happening all over the world as you read this! In our latest SE Lawyers blog written by Director Principal Melanie Heffernan, we explore the concept of an employee-owned business, its benefits, and how our firm is helping to move it to the forefront of business operations in Australia. Read on

Employee-owned businesses are turning the normal business paradigm on its head and well and truly revolutionizing the workplace. Already a strong fixture in the UK, with examples including the John Lewis Partnership, a few forward thinkers are now bringing this new mode of operation to business in Australia.

But, what exactly is an employee-owned business?

An employee-owned business is essentially what it sounds like – a business that is owned and operated collectively by the employees of the business, whoever they may be at the time. The way this works is that the employees are paid a salary for their role in the business, plus a share of its profits.

Instead of an overarching boss holding the reins, the employees control the direction and operations of the business allowing for a more diverse input. As a concept, this is a very big shift from the way that businesses are usually run – there is no single owner, you’re not working for “the man”, and the more successful everyone makes the business, the more you stand to profit from it! It’s fair to say that there are many exciting benefits to this structure.

Of course, as this is such a new concept in Australia, finding many lawyers who know how to guide you through this process or how to set it up in your own business might be a challenge. But this is no reason to fret because as far as we know, there are a grand total of two firms in Australia that have the coveted skills and experience to successfully help you do this – and we’re one of them! Our Director Principal Melanie Heffernan is at the forefront of this business structure revolution.

Our special announcement

On the 1st of July 2023, South East Lawyers Director Principal Melanie Heffernan will be orchestrating the changeover of a client’s business from a traditional model into the employee ownership model – making us only the second Australian law firm to be involved in this type of transaction!

We are very proud and excited to be able to offer this support for business owners and employees looking to work in a way that better supports the goals and needs of their business.

More updates on how this will look and what it will involve are to come, but in the meantime, if you would like to explore the possibilities associated with employee-owned businesses, get in touch with our business law team. To learn more on key things to think about when considering an employee-owned business structure, read these observations from Employee Ownership.