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What Are Your Family Businesses' New Year's Resolutions?

on Tuesday, 22 January 2019.

A new year is the perfect excuse to start thinking about the goals you want to achieve over the next 12 months.

For family businesses, it is particularly important to start making short term goals which hopefully will go some way to growing your business in the long term. If you are stuck for ideas, we have come up with a few which should hopefully give you a helping hand.

  • Start succession planning

Whatever stage your family business is at, it's never too early to start thinking about succession planning. Succession can be a real issue, and a lack of planning can lead to problems. For example, what if your children want to pursue their own careers and not enter the family business, as you had hoped?

Succession will affect, amongst other things, corporate structure, individual estate planning, and land ownership. We have experts in each of these areas, who can help create a plan that works for you.

  • Work on conflict resolution

Working in the occasionally complex and close situation of a family business can sometimes lead to tensions and disputes. It is important to work out how the personalities in your business work together, and the best way to manage those relationships.

Prevention is key, and so we help family businesses put in place procedures to manage relationships and the every-day running of the business. You could consider putting in place a Family Agreement/Family Charter, which could help reduce the risk of a family business dispute and, in the event that a dispute arises, ensures that procedures are in place to allow resolution in a way which hopefully lessens the upset for individuals and disruption for the business.

If, despite your attempts at preventing tensions, a conflict arises, we can help you resolve your issues through collaborative alternative dispute resolution.

  • Clarify the employment status of your staff

For a family business to be successful, it is important that the parties know where they stand and that the employment relationship is clearly defined. For example, should family members automatically qualify to work within the business? And if they do work in the business, how do you identify the role that is appropriate for them?

Sensitively drafted contracts and policies need to be backed up by day-to-day practical advice and support.

  • Put a proper governance structure in place

Governance is an important issue in any business, and is particularly crucial to the smooth running of a family business and the fostering of healthy, productive and rewarding family relationships.

Whether you need advice on setting up your family business, or you are looking at re-organising your existing structure, we can advise you on the best course of action, such as streamlining your corporate structure, taking advantage of tax efficiencies or finding a structure which suits your business model.


If you would like any advice in relation to any of the topics listed above, please contact our Head of Family Business, David Emanuel on 020 7665 0848.