Employee Stock Purchase Plan - ESPP

What is an 'Employee Stock Purchase Plan - ESPP'

An employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) is a company-run program in which participating employees can purchase company shares at a discounted price. Employees contribute to the plan through payroll deductions, which build up between the offering date and the purchase date. At the purchase date, the company uses the accumulated funds to purchase shares in the company on behalf of the participating employees. The amount of the discount depends on the specific plan but can be as much as 15% lower than the market price.

BREAKING DOWN 'Employee Stock Purchase Plan - ESPP'

Depending when you sell the shares, the disposition will be classified as either qualified or not qualified. If the position is sold two years after the offering date and at least one year after the purchase date, the shares will fall under a qualified disposition. If the shares are sold within two years of the offering date or one year after the purchase date the disposition will not be qualified. These positions will have different tax implications.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are employee share purchase plans?

    Find out what an employee stock purchase plan is and how it can be advantageous for an employer and an employee to participate ... Read Answer >>
  2. How can I purchase stocks directly from a company?

    There are a few circumstances in which a person can buy stock directly from a company. The following is meant to cover some ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do I own a stock as of the trade date or the settlement date?

    When it comes to buying shares, there are two key dates involved in the transaction. The first date is the trade date, which ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why should I pay attention to a dividend's ex-dividend date?

    Understand the importance of the ex-dividend date as the critical date for determining which stockholders qualify to receive ... Read Answer >>
  5. How can I find out what date(s) I am supposed to be entitled to ex-dividends?

    Understand the various dates associated with payment of stock dividends and specifically how the determining ex-dividend ... Read Answer >>
  6. If I sell my shares before the ex-dividend date will I still get the dividend?

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