How to Sell Employee Stock

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Rewarding executives and front-line workers with stock options or shares of stock is one of the best ways to foster a feeling of ownership and participation in the health of the firm. Some companies issue stock options and grants of stock only to the executive team and members of management, but other firms include ordinary workers as well. No matter what role you play, if you do own stock as an employee, you need to follow the proper procedures when it comes time to sell.

Contact the human resources department at your company and make sure you are permitted to sell the stock. Grants of stock and stock options often come with restrictions, including a minimum holding period before you may sell the stock.

Review your most recent statement from the custodian holding your employee stock. Check the number of shares you own, and calculate the potential value of the holdings, based on the current market value of the stock. You can check the current selling price of the stock in a financial publication such as The Wall Street Journal, or online at sites such as CNN Money or Yahoo! Finance.

Call the custodian holding your stock account and ask whether all your shares are fully vested. Some companies use a multiyear vesting schedule, meaning that a certain percentage of the stock grant is available for sale each year. If this is the case, you will be able to sell only the shares in which you are fully vested.

Complete the required paperwork to sell your shares. Depending on the custodian, you might be able to complete and submit the required forms online. Be sure to indicate how you want to receive the funds. You can request a check, or you can have the money transferred directly to your bank account.

Keep a copy of the sale confirmation with your tax documents. You will need to report the capital gain on the stock sale as part of your income for the year.