Indian Stocks Beginner

What is ESOP? – Definition, benefits & how does it work?

What is ESOP

As far as employee benefits go, ESOP is the new kid on the block. What is ESOP? It’s short for Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Basically, companies may offer their employees discounted or free shares that they may sell at the end of a certain period at a specific price. ESOPs burst into the Indian corporate scene with startups such as Flipkart and Myntra.

How does ESOP work?

Companies choose the share allotment, share price, and receivers for ESOPs. Firms provide eligible employees with an ESOP award date and grant amount.

During an ESOP award, the funds are kept in a trust for a certain amount of time before being readily accessible to the employee. Employees must stay with the firm during the vesting period to benefit from the ESOP and become a shareholder.
After the vesting term expires, the employee stock option scheme becomes fully vested and can be exercised. The date of vesting is the last day of the vesting period. Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) let members acquire company equity at prices determined by their employer that are lower than the current market price. Employees may sell ESOP in the share market, enabling them to realize a profit.

What are the benefits of an ESOP?

Here are some of the ESOP benefits.

The benefits to employees

  • Stock ownership: ESOPs allow employees to hold a percentage of the company’s share capital. Employee stock ownership programs allow them to earn from ownership in the company where they work.
  • Dividend income: When a business generates a profit, it will often distribute a part of that earnings to its shareholders as a dividend. Because ESOPs allow employees to own business shares, these employees have the potential to receive additional dividend payments.
  • When workers exercise the ESOPs allotted to them, the cost of acquiring shares is maintained at a minimum. Hence, they can make investments at favorable rates compared to other individuals.

The benefits to shareholders

Gaining access to a liquid market for their shares is one of the various ways investors of a closely held company may benefit from an ESOP. If an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is in place, a controlling or majority shareholder might retire with peace of mind. Similarly, an ESOP is often a minority shareholder in the single exit option of a private corporation.

A shareholder may defer capital gains taxes by selling shares to an ESOP through the ESOP benefit rollover. They can also avail the benefits of estate planning via this option.

By participating in an ESOP, the majority shareholder of a corporation may increase their liquid assets without relinquishing control of the company.

The benefits to the employer

Before they may use their ESOP benefits, employees must wait until the conclusion of their vesting period. With this policy in place, retaining staff will be easier.

Employees are more motivated to work hard when they have a vested interest in the company’s success and stand to benefit from their efforts. As a consequence, it has the potential to increase workplace productivity.

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) boost both employee attractiveness and retention. Many start-ups offer workers ESOPs to compensate for their initial meager salaries.


It is important to understand ESOPs well to fully utilize their financial and tax benefits and possible disadvantages. Remember there is often a waiting period before you can avail ESOP benefits. Perhaps an ESOP calculator will come in handy to help determine the tax liability connected with exercising ESOPs or selling the shares gained.


What does ESOP stand for?

ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan. It is a benefit plan that allows employees to become partial owners of the company by acquiring shares.

How much does an ESOP cost employees?

Employees typically don’t have to pay for ESOPs directly. Instead, they are granted shares at a predetermined price or offered the opportunity to purchase shares at a discounted rate, which can vary depending on the company’s policies.

Are ESOPs free for employees?

SOPs are not usually free for employees. Employees are typically granted or can purchase company shares at a predetermined price, often below market value, but they may still need to invest their own funds to acquire these shares.

What is ESOP in salary?

ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in salary refers to the practice of employees receiving company shares as part of their compensation package. This allows them to become partial owners of the company.

How ESOP works?

Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) allow employees to buy company shares at a predetermined price, usually lower than market value, after a vesting period. It incentivizes employees and aligns their interests with company growth.

Is ESOP better than salary?

Whether ESOPs are better than a higher salary depends on personal financial goals. ESOPs offer ownership in the company, potential for higher returns, but lower liquidity compared to salary.

Is ESOP good for employees?

ESOPs can be beneficial for employees as they offer ownership in the company and potential for financial growth. However, their value depends on the company’s performance and individual financial goals.

Is ESOP part of CTC?

ESOPs are not typically considered part of the Cost to Company (CTC) package. They are a separate employee benefit related to stock ownership and are not included in the standard CTC calculation.

Disclaimer: Risk is fundamental to the investment process in Indian stocks. Any discussion of securities in this article should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The facts provided are for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch.

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