What Are Common Issues In A Family Business?

by | Aug 8, 2017 | Business Law

A family business can be a blessing and a curse, because though you get to work with your loved ones, the familiarity between you can trigger heightened emotions and conflict that is more difficult to solve than if you were working with a friend or an acquaintance.

To help you avoid these difficulties in your family business, there are some common issues you should understand, and the ways to avoid them in the future.

Favoritism In a Family Business

Though you own a family business, it’s likely that you have employees who are not related to you. One of the problems that crops up is when it appears as if you are showing favoritism to your family members to the detriment of your other employees.

You can resolve this issue by treating your family members the same way you do non-relative employees, which includes facing the same consequences for not meeting performance standards.

Who Will Run the Business In the Future

Another common issue in a family business is the lack of a clear succession plan.

If family members have no idea who will run the business in the future, it can complicate the transition after you pass away, because there are no protocols for surviving family members to follow.

To avoid this problem, make sure you establish a succession plan and share that plan with your family so there are no surprises when the transition time arrives.

The Personal Becomes Part of the Business

It’s difficult for members of a family business to leave their personal issues out of the business. But this can become a problem when those personal issues involve another family member, because this can carry over into the day-to-day aspects of running the business.

Avoid this problem by creating a culture in which personal issues are handled outside of business hours. By focusing on company operations during business hours, you can help to separate the personal from the professional, and lower the chances of disharmony.

Failing To Give Family Members the Right Position

Another issue in a family business is that sometimes you may not place family members in a job that best matches their skills and temperament.

This often occurs because you want to provide your loved ones with the opportunity to thrive in the family business, but hiring them for the wrong job can have negative consequences.

Make sure you properly assess the skills of your family members, and place them in a position that is most appropriate.

Legal Services For Your Family Business

Even when you know some of the pitfalls of owning a family business, problems may still arise despite your best efforts. In those instances you need an experienced litigation lawyer to help you sort through the legal entanglements and protect the future of your business.

The law firm of Peter M. Feaman, P.A. has years of experience helping businesses navigate through a number of legal issues. Call us today at 561-469-0019 for a free legal consultation.

Additional Reading:

The Most Common Contract Disputes Likely To Lead To Business Litigation

Most Common Types of Business Litigation


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