Note on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Phantom Stock Plans  - CLEO Skip to main content


Provides a brief overview of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and phantom stock plans for owners of closely held companies. ESOPs can be used as a tool of corporate financing, and can provide employees with ownership interests. Phantom stock plans can reward executives for value creation without giving up ownership. Covers typical company motives for establishing such plans, regulation, tax advantages, administrative costs, issues of corporate governance, and payment of plan benefit. Includes a two-page bibliography with references to further sources of legal and tax information.