Who is minding the family store?

For many families, their wealth is inextricably intertwined with a family business enterprise. Financial and legal decisions made for the business will impact the family, and estate planning for the family can likewise have consequences for the business. Entrepreneurs should begin with the end in mind.

Families who own small businesses need techniques to grow and formalize their business, a sound retirement plan, a strategy to protect their hard-earned assets, and a succession plan. Families who own more mature businesses additionally need help making the key transition from an entrepreneurial culture to a managerial system. The owner will want to create systems and procedures that will decrease the amount of hands-on time he or she needs to spend in the business. Advanced planning that goes beyond the basics is required at this level.

Owners of established businesses will also need to begin to develop and implement their “exit strategy” −answering such questions as: Should I sell my business? To whom? How? At what net price? What are the most advantageous methods of turning my business in to cash?

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